“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I remember times during Bible reading when I would avoid focusing on any passages that challenged me to love others, because I had been holding onto bitterness towards someone who had hurt me in the past. I was deliberately ignoring parts of the Bible that challenged me to forgive that other person.
Perhaps there’s a Bible passage that you’ve been avoiding. Perhaps it is a passage that is tedious to read or difficult to understand. Perhaps it challenges you to give up some dream or desire that you’ve been holding onto. Perhaps it challenges you to do something that you’ve been avoiding for a long time. Perhaps it challenges you to go against modern values and become unpopular in the eyes of others. It can be easy to ignore reading those difficult parts and just focus on the passages that are easier to obey.
In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul mentions that “all Scripture is God-breathed”, meaning its message is ultimately from God. Although Paul may have referred to the Old Testament through the word Scripture, other parts of the Bible imply that the teachings of Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament books had equal authority as being God’s teachings (1 Timothy 5:18; 2 Peter 3:2). Notice that Paul mentions that two things the Bible is useful for is rebuking and correcting us. Therefore, as we read through the Bible, there will be times where parts of it highlights our sin and corrects our thinking and actions. Although it may be painful to listen to, Paul reminds us that every part of the Bible is beneficial to us because it is God’s message to us, and it is equipping us to be able to serve Him.
God wants us to listen to the whole Bible, even the parts that challenge us. Although it will be difficult to read through parts of the Bible that highlight our faults and correct us, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that this will ultimately be for our good, as we are empowered to live for God and equipped for all manner of good works.
Consider a challenging passage of the Bible that you have been avoiding reading or obeying. Commit to reading this passage every day this week and pray that God would help you to humbly and patiently accept its truth and put it into practice.
Heavenly Father, I thank you that the Bible is your message and is helpful to me, even the challenging parts that I would rather just avoid. I thank you that every part of it is useful for growing me in my faith and for training me for good works. Please give me the humility to keep learning more from the Bible, especially the parts that rebuke the way I am living and correct me, and help me to obey them. In the name of Jesus, Amen.