Words of Hope: Living and Active  

Dad and I would discuss why Bible classes in Christian schools and colleges were often the worst classes, boring, uninspired, didactic, and lacking. I think about this in my own life. How perhaps some of my worst conversations with my daughters were not the times I swore or got angry but may have been the times I felt most prideful in my understanding of scripture and had a lecture they “needed” to hear.  

I think of God’s holy word as living and active and have experienced this wonder many times in my life. There is an alive, consuming experience with the living Word of God. On the road to Emmaus, the disciples described the feeling as a burning in their hearts.  

I consider when I attempt to control God’s word through using it as a tool to get my message across to those who “don’t know” or “need” Jesus. I place myself in the position of God’s spirit. I try and direct the process.  

Bible classes and church sermons can do the same. As we academically read and measure and prod the Holy Word of God, we think we know God’s Word. We can quote scripture or retell a story, but we are far from it. I wonder if that’s why some of the most vocal atheists came out of the homes of pastors.  

How easy it is for me to want to dominate my children or friends into believing what I believe.  

Can I have enough faith to trust that God is speaking to my family and that my prayer and deepest love and service for them does more than my sermonizing?  

What if our Bible classes and churches had more listening, self-reflection, and honest vulnerability from the teachers and leaders? How much of our current hypocrisy comes from the wielding of God’s Word to try and strike others down rather than equally surrendering in humility? 

Lord, have mercy.  

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12