Anonymous asked a question:
The bible always seems so..harsh, when I read it. And I’m not sure why? like, I feel so little of God’s love from the bible. I don’t know if this is a bad thing to say, but I want verses about love. I need verses and the parts of the bible that talk about love, but I feel like my anxiety is clouding and preventing that. Help?
Hey dear friend, I definitely understand that: there are plenty of times I get to some unwieldy passage in the Bible and I want to throw the whole thing in the trash. No kidding.
But here are a few thoughts to consider.
– I believe the Bible is timeless, meaning that it can speak to everyone in any time, in all conditions. God speaks to the downtrodden just as much as the prideful, arrogant, and merciless. God humbles the proud as much as He comforts the hurting. The Bible has many different passages for different kinds of people, and maybe what you need right now are to highlight those gentle passages in which God seeks to heal you.
– To get a good, well-rounded view of God in the Bible, I’d consider reading Psalms. Unlike every other book of the Bible, the Psalms is about people responding to God, instead of God acting towards people, and so the Psalms contains the entire spectrum of human emotion. There is so much healing and compassion for people like us who are afflicted with anxiety (and for my own depression and insecurities).
– Here’s the truth. The Bible is going to push against you sometimes, because there’s plenty inside us that needs work. If the Bible never pushed against you, then that God isn’t a real God, but a keychain toy that fits in your pocket at your convenience. Then we’re just making up a God in our own image that only answers to the things we like and bows down to the things we don’t. We have both wounds and pride which need both repair and rebuke. I hope we can be open to that, to know that we all have both struggles and selfishness.