If the Bible is a food item... what have you been eating?
Today I had a funny thought. Maybe it came to me because I was hungry. Maybe I've just been spending too much time trapped at home. It was likely a combination of both.
Today I thought to myself, "The Bible is like different foods for different people."
Perhaps this wasn't the most original thing I've ever come up with. After all Scripture itself uses words like "the Bread of Life" or "Food for your soul". But I must admit I was very amused with my own take on things and so I've decided to share it here. Enjoy!
1. Baby food
For some people, the Bible is baby food- not hard to eat, but also not very appetizing. I believe this is how many people in the world experience God's word. There are 2.5 billion people who claim the label, "Christian" and many of them were exposed to the concept of God, Jesus, and the Bible from a young age. They got the very basics because as a kid, you don't need a whole lot to sustain you. However, as they got older, the Bible didn't really capture their attention. If you ask them what they think of the Bible they will probably give you a generic, "It's good," or "It's God's word". They might simply shrug their shoulders; because baby food is great for babies, but adults don't really care about it.
Let's be honest... do you really take your vitamins everyday? I will confess, I can stick with it for about a month or so before I get tired of swallowing pills and get focused on other health trends. But you better believe that when the pandemic broke out in the United States I suddenly took my vitamins VERY faithfully! I hoarded vitamin C and D like it was going extinct! It is the same with some people when it comes to the Bible- they come running to it when there is a crisis. "Oh no, I lost my job, I better read the Bible!" "Oh no, I really want my daughter not to move in with her boyfriend, I better read the Bible!" Oh no, I need this prayer to be answered, I better read my Bible!" When there is a fear or a risk coming up in our lives that is out of our control, some people start acting out of panic rather than genuine interest. There is nothing tasty, appealing, or enjoyable about taking vitamins. We just do it because we think we should. We want to avoid sickness or poor health so into the medicine cabinet we go.
Cake is so sweet. Cake makes people happy. It is used to celebrate the absolute best times of our lives. Birthdays, weddings, and parties- all likely include some form of this baking treat. Many aspects of the Bible are sweet, joyful, and a delight to indulge in and those are the only things many believers choose to focus on. What about the 10 Commandments? Not relevant anymore. What about the confession of sins? Unnecessary. What about the End of Times? Too far off to bother us. Instead, we want to listen to our Jesus music, post our Pinterest Bible verses, and brag about our "I love Jesus" bumper stickers. Following Jesus becomes a trend, not a real sacrifice or commitment. This approach allows people to live guiltless and unfortunately often selfish lifestyles without ever having to think about it twice. "I tell people I love Jesus and that is as far as I am going to take it." These people want to have their cake and eat it too (pun intended!!). Oh, and often when people eat cake there are parts they avoid- the cake topper, the fondant, the frosting- anything they deem as unedible. It is the same often with people's approach to scripture- take the good parts and leave behind what you don't like.
On the opposite side of the spectrum from the cake people- are the vegetable people. These people know the Bible is good for them, and they are pretty good at getting themselves to read it, however they aren't reading it because they enjoy it. I must confess I really love vegetables, but if I had to choose between a salad and a pizza, I would choose the pizza almost every time. That being said I do eat a lot more vegetables than pizza because I know it is good for me. Vegetable people are likely the ones who are memorizing huge passages of scripture or posting incredibly deep theological blurbs on social media trying to use as many Hebrew and Greek word references as possible. It is interesting. It is knowledgeable... but it isn't always heartfelt. Another thing about vegetable people is they love to tell others about how many vegetables they eat. Think about it- what comes to mind when you hear the phrase "vegan community"? Yup. Many of them love to brag about their health choices and unfortunately are known for having a condescending nature. "Oh, you've never read the entire book of Revelation? I've read it all the way through eight times! I even have a Bible study prophecy group at my house on Wednesday nights!" Ironically, much like cake people, this allows vegetable people to feel pretty justified about their life choices- both good and bad. If someone they care about does something wrong or finds themselves in some trouble, vegetable people proudly point out- you should've eaten more vegetables like me.
Do you even know what this is? If you said no or are scrambling to google it- that is exactly my point. Consomme' is what some chefs argue to be the "hardest dish in the world" to cook. It is a clear soup made from meat, tomato, egg whites and stock, slowly simmered to bring impurities to the surface for skimming. Even some of the most experienced chefs cannot master the complex clarification process required to make consommé. I believe the majority of the world looks at the Bible as you and I might look at Consomme'- too hard to even fathom, and only for the elite few who are privileged enough to grasp it. The Bible is daunting, overwhelming, and ancient. There are so many different takes on what scripture means that who can possibly even begin to understand or decipher it all! Because it appears too hard and too out of reach, many people simply pass it up- often forgetting or even acknowledging that it exists. Consomme', is also extremely expensive- costly. In Switzerland, one restaurant serves it for $318 a plate. Many people feel that following the Bible is too costly. I could never live up to those standards. I could never give up my guilty pleasures.
I must be transparent with you- the Bible has been all of these things to me at some point in my life. I am guilty of being among all these different categories of people. Maybe that is why I was so good at coming up with them...
As you near the end of this article perhaps you are curious if I came up with the "ideal" food comparison for God's Word. You are in luck! I did- but it isn't food.
Water is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of most living organisms. It is vital to our bodies if we want to live. We can go three whole days without it... before we are in a pretty urgent situation. Water comes in different forms and fashions- but its use remains the same. It is on the earth to hydrate, refresh, and restore. The Bible is a source of water for us because it leads us to Jesus. Jesus is our living water and it is only through the Bible that we can learn about Him properly. Every pastor's sermon, every children's lesson, and every praise song is rooted in the pages of the ancient book.
The Bible must become a vital part of our lives and our days. We must spend time on it daily- because we want to and because we need to. Start quenching your thirst today!
I have dedicated several posts to Bible study:
Who is right about the Bible? https://www.thebiblegirl.com/post/who-is-right-about-the-bible
How do I start reading the Bible? https://www.thebiblegirl.com/post/how-to-actually-start-reading-the-bible
Why was the Bible written? https://www.thebiblegirl.com/post/the-bible-is-god-s-diary