I used to think I had to completely understand the Bible to be a real Christian.
It’s the kind of thing that you never vocally admit, or even realize. But subconsciously, I thought it was true.
It weighs on your conscience. I knew I didn’t fully understand parts of scripture then, and probably never would perfectly—but for some reason, I convinced myself other people were far more educated than I was. It was like the people standing beside me in church possessed some secret knowledge that I would never have.
But about a month ago, I started babysitting for a bible study. I never listened in on the lessons (because I was babysitting), but afterwards there was always an early dinner where everyone would gather around and eat pizza. The second week, I sat with several adults I hadn’t really talked to before. The guy who taught the lesson sat next to me—Eric.
I was amazed at the simple discussion between the adults. They understood so much more about the Bible than I did, but they were just normal people God had chosen to speak through. And they made it clear they were just normal people, too.
Suddenly, in the middle of their discussion, they turned to me. They asked me about my own story, and we had a short conversation. At the end, Eric looked at me and plainly said, “this young lady knows that Jesus loves her. You know that Jesus loves you. Don’t be afraid to say it.”
That night, I got home and cried.
I didn’t grow up in church. I always felt like I was an illegitimate Christian, to be honest. I asked a lot of questions, and those questions were sometimes unwelcome. I was never traditional, and in theology class, I raised my hand far too many times.
It’s easy to forget that if you love Christ and Christ loves you, it is enough.
Romans 11:33 exclaims, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” If the author of salvation and the Bible is beyond tracing out, how can I expect to understand every element of scripture?
This is not to say I stop searching for truth in the Bible. In fact, it says the opposite. Because there is always more to discover, I will keep looking for wisdom in God’s word.
But how much I understand about the Bible does not define my salvation. I am saved by grace through faith. It is finished! I don’t need to prove my worth to Christ; he already proved his love for me on the cross.
The Bible is beyond my logic, and God is beyond my understanding. This is one of the many faults of being human. Our minds have been tainted with sin as much as anything else, and this is what keeps us from fully comprehending the amazing grace and love and compassion that Jesus has for us.
Christ loves you. He died for you. He saved you. That’s it.
You don’t need to prove that you’re a genius to be accepted into his kingdom. You don’t even need to prove that you are smart.
Jesus calls you by your name, and whatever you think you need to prove, God already knows.
And there is something powerful about that testimony. Christ loves me, all of me—isn’t that incredible? If he loves me, he loves you. Isn’t that incredible?
Don’t be ashamed of the simplicity of your faith. There are things in the Bible that are complicated, but Christ’s love for us is not. It is a reckless, eternal, unconditional love that never stops—and no love is as simple and incredible as that.
I don’t want to hesitate in my faith in Christ. I don’t want to hesitate because I don’t fully wrap my head around Christ’s love, free will, or the mind-bending accounts in Revelation. I want to jump into the water and swim to my savior, just like Peter, in reckless abandon. I want to listen to God’s voice and trust that He will give me the words to say when I can’t speak. I want to embrace this reckless love—even if I don’t understand how incredible it is.
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.”Jesus, John 15:9