I remember being at gatherings and while all the women hung out in one room, laughing it up, exchanging anecdotes about their marriages and families, I would sit with the guys and discuss/debate theological “stuff”. I was intrigued, interested, and beyond curious. I was also energized by the banter and by standing out as I was usually the only woman in the group. One would think “Wow, Ruth is really in love with God” but the truth was that I was more in love with the “Bible” than I was with the author of it, God himself.
Something had to give, I found myself studying topics and reading books in preparation for the next get-together. I would show up with the chamber loaded & ready for combat. This grieved the Holy Spirit and in his grace he began to show me how dangerous and hurtful I had become.
After a long day of work I came home and ran to my roommate Nina, she had always been very balanced and I admired her relationship with God. She also had an impressive amount of books on her shelves so I said to her “I need to read one of your books, something that will stir my affections for God, I’m in danger here”. She handed me “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers and boy was I heart wrecked in such a good way. If you haven’t read it, GIRLLLLLLLL you don’t know what you’re missing!!!!!! My intimacy increased with the Lord and I began to enjoy him in a new way.
My pursuit of knowledge shifted from wanting win arguments to growing closer to the one who won me over. The book “Redeeming Love” didn’t save my relationship with God, HE did.
Now that I teach “Hermeneutics” (the science of interpreting scriptures) I make my students aware of potential pitfalls when studying the Bible. I’ll share a few with you today. Remember, growing in knowledge great & necessary, but ultimately God comes to examine the heart of man not the brain. As you grow in your studies, it is your fear of God that will enable you to walk in humility and apply what you have studied to your everyday life, not use it to hurt and harm others.
Ruth Reyes Vega