No joke—my husband drove up behind this car on the way to work the other day. Black Mercedes with license plate that reads, “Tithe.” Chuckling, he muttered, “Must be a pastor’s car.”
We can use it to win an argument, make excuses or champion our cause. A verse taken out of context can be incredibly instrumental to our advantage. However, for our own benefit, we mustn’t pick and choose.
It is tempting to meditate only on scriptures that exhort blessings. Here’s just a few:
“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies.” Genesis 22:17
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Ps 34:8
Blessing in scripture can refer to a material, financial wealth, because certainly God is able. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Ps. 50:10). However, we must be careful not to limit the word blessing to only financial things. This word also includes our emotional and spiritual well-being. We cannot fully appreciate God’s goodness and glory without experiencing the full depth of Him. He is the Lion and the Lamb, the Alpha and the Omega,…spoken about from Genesis to Revelation. Why would we want to hinder ourselves from seeing every bit of Him? From the example of Paul, we see this exemplified.
“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13
He doesn’t promise us a perfect life, but rather a perfect eternity. We read Scripture so that Scripture reads us. In other words, we read Scripture to reveal our true selves. The good, the bad and the ugly can be quite transforming. Why do I elevate myself above the person sitting next to me? Why do I pat myself on the back? Why do I long for the approval of others? Why do I find sarcasm and cynicism as my best friends?
“A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.” Proverbs 21:2