I’ve been a follower of Christ for thirty-four years and although my walk as been throughout a vast landscape, I am forever the prodigal daughter. The latest struggle I’ve had, for about ten years or so, is the legitimacy of the Bible. Not as a whole but certain books, which is why I’ve tended to stick to Jesus’ teachings more than anything. However, I’d still take an occasional walk through other books of the Bible, wanting to restore my faith in the legitimacy of God’s Word.
Why did I begin to doubt? A seed was planted by a misunderstanding of Paul’s words and grew because I chose to seek the advice and opinion of the wrong people to help me “clear up” the misunderstanding (The right person has been by my side for several years, God knows what he’s doing. 😉 )
This doubt has been a part of my walk, a walk through a cold, dark and dangerous valley. I’ve been walking as close to the canyon walls as possible, still in the light but dangerously close to the coldness of the deep.
Not too long ago I was reading through 1 Corinthians chapter eleven. This is not my first time reading this particular chapter, it’s probably beyond my twentieth, but one sentence seemed to stand out this time. A sentence that somehow I missed all of the other times I read these verses. “Judge in yourselves:…” If you know this verse and it predecessors you know this particular area is about how a woman should be covered in church, or should be ashamed to be shaved or have short hair. What a ridiculous stumbling block the devil put in my heart. He used my belief that God loves us for our heart and not our appearance to whisper to me that if Paul said such things, Paul who is so looked on as a teacher for our modern Christianity, then everything else must be false. So recently when I read Paul’s words “Judge in yourselves…” an understanding struck me, what he’s saying… “It’s just my opinion, what do you think?” Paul never said this is God’s commandment or Jesus’, it was an opinion based on the specific people he was talking to. My wonderful husband and I discussed this and his explanation further set in stone what I was enlightened on. He said the people Paul were talking to were a vain people who needed more than anything to be humbled.
This understanding was an earthquake, turning the valley wall I’ve been walking next to, to rubble and allowing me to crawl out of the darkness of that valley. Now, now that I’ve risen out of the valley and dusted myself off, I can clearly see how foolish this was, but nonetheless, the devils trick worked well. Sometimes we need to walk in the cold, dark valleys to understand what a trickster the devil is, so we can strengthen our armament against him.
Kandy May Poff
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