The Bible Is Not About You
The Bible is not about you. You’re not the main character. God is. The Bible is about God. It was written by Him, for Him, and about Him.
“In the beginning, God…” See, there it is, the first words of the first page of the first book. The beginning of a story about Him. But for some reason, we try really hard to make the Bible about us.
I used to do that. I saw myself as David…along with every other cool character. Young and fearless, slaying all my giants with a little help from God. But then I realized. When the giant shows up, I’m not very David-esque. I’m much more like the rest of the Israelites. I am standing on the sidelines, shaking in my boots, hoping someone comes along to save me.
Whenever I make the Bible about me, I walk away feeling one of two ways: puffed up or put down. I either become proud of how God is going to use me to fight giants and part seas and change the world. Or I become ashamed at what God thinks of me since I am not fighting giants and parting seas and changing the world. The truth is, I am fighting just to hang on a lot of the time.
Both of these reactions to the Bible have one thing in common: me. I read the Bible and walk away looking inward rather than upward.
“But wait, isn’t the Bible written to us?” I’m glad you asked. Yes, the Bible is written to us. But the fact that it’s written to us is different than it being about us. The Bible was written to us so we could know about God.
“But doesn’t the Bible tell us lots of things about ourselves?” Again, thanks for asking. The Bible does teach us many things about ourselves. In fact, I would argue that it’s impossible to really know yourself without a biblical understanding of human nature. God’s Word tells us that we are created, loved, fallen, sinful, deserving of judgment, redeemed, saved, and set apart. But the Bible tells us these things so we will look upward, not inward.
The Bible tells us that we were created in God’s image, fearfully and wonderfully made. But it doesn’t say this so we can turn inward, realizing how special we are and boosting our self-esteem. The Bible says this so we can turn upward, realizing how special God is and boosting our God-esteem.
The Bible also tells us that we are sinners who have rejected God and deserve his wrath. But it doesn’t say this so we can turn inward, trying to achieve self-righteousness and hiding in shame when we fail. The Bible says this so we can turn upward, repenting of our sin and seeking salvation from a merciful God.
And when the Bible tells us that we are God’s chosen people, saved by His grace, it doesn’t say this so we can turn inward, patting ourselves on the back and elevating ourselves above others. The Bible talks about salvation so we can turn upward, falling before Jesus and giving our whole lives to Him.
Each and every part of the Bible was written about God. When we read it, we should turn upward with awe and wonder. If we don’t, we are probably mistaking the point for ourselves. This is why many people say of the Bible, “It’s boring, it’s hard to understand, I just don’t get anything out of it, etc.” You don’t get anything out of it because you are too busy trying to put yourself in it.
Read the Bible. Do it slowly, verse by verse, even the boring and difficult parts. Look for God. When you see Him, stare at Him. Get a really good look. And then breathe a deep sigh of relief that the Bible is not about you. Because, to be honest, that story wouldn’t be nearly as good.