I had the good fortune of growing up the way I did. I had the great benefit of having elders and teachers that invested in me and taught me what the Bible was used for and how to use it. Do I have it figured out, um no. But writing about it always helps comprehension and accountability.
Many Christians make the mistake of using the Bible for a few different purposes that I don’t think God originally intended. Keep in mind that these are based on my observations in my brief lifetime. Don’t take my word as gospel, check it out for yourself!
The first mistake that Christians make is using the Bible like an instruction manual. If I do these things, don’t break the commandments, listen to what Jesus said, read it when I don’t know what piece goes where, or read it when my life breaks down then I’ll be good. While this is the most generalized way to view the Bible it is one that you see in culture and in people that haven’t really figured out how to use the Bible yet. When you first become a Christian, it isn’t easy opening the pages and figuring out what Jesus meant. Even his disciples who were with Him 24/7 couldn’t understand Him. It’s frustrating when you go to church today as a new believer and all you hear about are these verses that are hard to understand to begin with and aren’t connected at all in any way. It’s a confusing way of maneuvering around in the Scripture, like a boat without a ruder. You could also say like a journey without a map or a guide. New Christians would benefit from either one.
The greatest part about this view of the Bible is that its easy to fix. The point of the Bible isn’t to instruct us. It isn’t there to enforce rules, that’s religion. Many people say, “Jesus/God/the church is religion.” It shouldn’t be and its not suppose to be. Jesus wasn’t after people to do the ‘right’ thing. He doesn’t seek obedience out of obligation, He seeks obedience out of love. We’re not doing things because we have to, we’re doing things because we want to. This comes with knowing God deeply which can be accomplished by reading the Bible, not as a book of does and don’t but as a letter, addressed to us, and meant to help us get to know the God that created us and came to earth to die for us.