Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
I love this scripture and I often refer to it when I discover my mind has wandered into territory unbecoming to a Christian. (Usually occurs when driving and someone fails to use a turn signal…but I digress…)
But while we are supposed to focus on the pure and lovely, the Bible contains some hard things at times. Things that we sometimes like to gloss over. Like every parent who picks out Noah’s Ark for their kid’s bedroom. All the pretty animals and the fatherly Noah on top of the wood ark in pretty pastel colors. I’ve never seen a bedroom that contains the other part of that story – you know, the part where God wiped out all mankind in the flood waters. Nope – there are never pictures of all the drowning people. We have a tremendous capacity to ignore what we don’t like. Or don’t understand. But this can give us a false view of God. God is love – but He is also holy. God is merciful – but He is also just. We can’t accept the love and the mercy without accepting the holiness and the justice.
This has all sorts of ramifications. As a writer, I’ve encountered this when it comes to language. Five of my novels are published by a Christian publisher. Even though there was no bad language, I still had one word in one of the manuscripts that was removed and changed – and I didn’t know till the book was published. And I’m not even going to tell you the word because I am sure there will be people who hate that word AND use that word in equal numbers and it’s not worth debating about.
And I like pointing you to people who have said it better than I could anyway:-)
I was directed to this article by Steven James – and I like how he shares his thoughts about the Bible and words. The Bible is a truly amazing book – a book that tells us about God and invites us to interact with Him as the living Word. But the Bible is raw. Gritty. Honest.
Anyhow – I encourage you to read the article yourself and see what you think.