Christians who quote the Bible for perspectives in life are saying that God’s perspective is unchanging and trustworthy. Your parents say one thing, your experience teaches something else, your teachers have other perspectives, and your friend goads you in yet another direction. You grow up and your values change. What was important to you at nine years old is not the same at nineteen or fifty-nine years. Your perspective can also change with your mood. So, how do you know which view to follow? God’s view is consistent and will always hold true across time and culture. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
A manufacturer of a widget is often the best source to consult for advice on their widget, so God, being the Creator of all, his manual, the Bible, is the best source to consult on how life works. As we see in the book you hold in your hands, the Bible addresses and answers some of life’s toughest spiritual questions.
We believe that we were born sinners and that this world will show us how to live sinful lives. But only the Bible will teach us how to live this life in a way that pleases God. The world will tell us one thing about sex, relationships, life and death, paying taxes, spending money, ordering our households, and parenting, and God will have something to say about them too. If we want to live lives that honor God, we turn to the Bible for instruction in all these things. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Christians are well able to form their own opinions on a wide variety of subjects – and they don’t all agree with each other! So we certainly can hold our own counsel; we have free will; we’ll evaluate and consider according to our present understanding.
What Do You Think?
a. Have you ever derived any good ideas worth keeping from books you’ve read?
b. Have you ever had ideas and opinions changed by anything you’ve read?