The Bible Trap?

by Rev Lai Kai Ming

Readings: 2 Corinthians 9:1-15; Proverbs 15:24-26

READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
Proverbs 15:24-26
The path of life leads upward for the prudent,
that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.
The Lord tears down the house of the proud
but maintains the widow’s boundaries.
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure.

The book of Proverbs answers the cry of one who asks “how shall we live?” For the author, the greatest reward comes from a life of wisdom. Not intelligence, but wisdom. Intelligence is about brains, but wisdom is about life. How shall we live? We live prudently, with our time, our resources, our choices. We are careful not to follow the crowd. Next, wisdom is not proud, because the wise man understand his frailty and his utter dependence on others. He who is proud must contend with his Creator. Lastly, the wise thinks pure and speaks grace. He believes that while we are sinners, we can choose not to sin.

Sometimes we can fall into what I call the “Bible trap”. How the trap works is that it encourages the study of the Bible as an end in itself. It is more concerned about correct interpretation than correct living. It argues that it is not possible to live correctly without understanding precisely. It is prudent to the extent of becoming proud. In short, it makes the mistakes of the Pharisees. The Bible trap stifles the Christian life by choosing intelligence over wisdom. For this reason, I believe God has placed the books of Psalms and Proverbs right in the middle of the Bibl–- to remind us that the Word is to be understood only by living it out.

Dear Lord, free me from religion into relationship, from law into love, from legalism into life!