This week found me reeling and blindsided by unexpected news that drastically altered my life in a major way. As in any time of “crisis,” we often struggle to understand “what went wrong?” Introspection can be dangerous because if we honestly look at those deep recesses of our hearts it’s not such a joyful thing. Ugliness can be found even when beauty was the intent. Ugliness in the form of idols…idols that we didn’t even know became idols…idols which came to be from good things…Godly things…they became idols nonetheless. How could this happen, you ask? With great ease…How can Godly things be idols, you ask? Things like scripture or church?? NO! Yes. I had never heard of the term “bibliolatry” until I began to dig deep in preparation for writing this post.
What is bibliolatry?
Merriam-Webster defines bibliolatry as:
- one having excessive reverence for the letter of the Bible
- one overly devoted to books
I know what you’re thinking…WHAT?!?!
Let me backtrack a bit…
I recently began to read a book entitled: “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” by Tullian Tchividjian. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
For so long I have beat my head against the proverbial wall in frustration at the constant struggle of the same things over and over and over again. My prayers would be something like this: “Lord, please help sanctify me so I will not do ….insert whatever sin I didn’t want to do anymore…” “Lord, please help me to change…” “Lord, please help me to choose to not do….insert whatever sin I didn’t want to do anymore…”
Surprisingly I have never been successful at “change” occurring. Shocker, right? That’s because I have fundamentally deceived myself of what it meant to be free in Christ. What it meant to progress to spiritual maturity. What it meant to be secured through salvation.
Colossians is rich with these principles, and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read Colossians…and I never got it. I’m not saying I fully “get it” now…but the Lord is definitely revealing truth to me in a time when I need it more than ever. Truth of how damaging pride can be; even pride in knowing scriptures. Truth in how the Gospel did set me free from those things I fight so hard against: anger, fear, and uncertainty (trusting God to care for me). Truth of what it really means to change. Truth of what it really means to be sanctified. Truth in the very real danger of bibliolatry.
But it has nothing to do with how hard we work. Stayed tuned for part 2 to understand why “do more; work harder” will get us all NOWHERE real quick with God.