One of the struggles people can face after spiritual abuse, disillusionment, or any type of hurt experienced in a church or by a church leader is returning to Scripture. Although scripture states it is truth, those who have been hurt can doubt that because they can doubt their own judgment or the way others have interpreted scripture for them. Misrepresentation of scripture’s truth and God’s character happens a lot more than we want to admit because we are sinful people. Paul addressed this same problem with some of the churches he wrote to many years ago.
In these quotes from the book A Faith That is Real, Daniel Owens addresses the why we should spend time in scripture and how important it is to do that in a real and authentic way, a manner without the misrepresentation and twisted interpretations that can happen through hurtful leaders. We should not just look at it as information to learn, but as a way that God can change and transform our lives.
If we read the Bible without allowing it to have an impact on us, if it does not change us from the inside out, then we have missed the old point. The purpose of reading the Bible is not so much to gain knowledge as it is to transform our lives. Meditation causes us to think: “God, that’s me. I need to change. I need you to work on something inside of me.”
In verse 22, James says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” In this verse, the word do indicates a continuous action. Doing what Jesus commanded should be a part of our lifestyles.
James is telling these Christians, “Don’t just study the word. Don’t just look at it. Learn that, know it, understand it, and to pass that information along to someone else. But don’t forget: the reason you study and meditate on God’s word is to live it.”
Returning to reading, studying, learning, and knowing scripture can be a difficult part of the journey of recovery, but as we go back to it, looking for direction, healing, and hope God will meet us and will touch our hearts in a way that will begin the journey or restoration in a new way. He desires us to be whole and holy and will help us along that journey.