My life has taken me on different trails, with different characters in different cities, states and nations. Interestingly, when I share snibbits of my life story with people, the snibbits do not make sense or seem contradictory to other snibbits I have shared. For example, I may share about experiences in India as a missionary and then later knowledge on fashion modeling and later connection to people in the political arena. Oh! And then my life as a bus driver. Questions real in the minds of the hearers on how I could have these experiences and characters in my sphere of influence. "You said you modeled, how is it that you were in college? Wait, I thought you drove a bus in Missouri, how did you even get to Austin?" Information given to the person doesn't make sense. Doubt creeps in about the validity of the information shared. This is what happens when people try to analyze a life with snibbits instead of the whole story. You need all the pieces to the puzzle to see the whole picture. Two or three pieces can't even begin to reveal the artwork and the pieces you have may not fit together.
Another story that causes debate, doubt and questions of contradiction is the Word of God; the Bible. I believe it's because there are only snibbits that people have. A few verses are read. The Bible is flipped through instead of being read through. It may be put on a shelf instead of the contents put in the heart. Then the questions, "It says to discipline your children, but it says spare the rod and spoil your child. That's a contradiction!" or "The Bible says God is love, but there is suffering in the world. And, I don't believe a loving God would allow it." This is a side note, but I will be addressing suffereing next week. Anyway, snibbits or pieces of the Word of God can bring confusion. That's why you have to read the whole thing. My mom told me, "You have to read it like any other book; from cover to cover."
You may be saying, "Lisa, I am a believer and I am not confused. I haven't read the Bible cover to cover, but I trust the Word is true and not contradictory." That is awesome!! However, as believers (myself included) we should read the Bible from cover to cover to be ready to give an answer to those we come across who are confused or see contradictions. I can't count how many times an unbeliever knew enough scripture to keep God out and I was left standing not knowing enough to bring clarity. Ephesians 6 teaches to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. We can't hand a helmet of salvation to someone if our sword is rusty and with no tip to stab the stronghold over the soul. So, let's challenge each other to know God's Word and read the whole story and study it. This will empower us to replace the holey story with THE Holy story.