I’ve been doing Beth Moore’s discipleship study called Believing God the last few weeks. If you struggle at just that point – believing God – I highly recommend the material to you. Make sure to get the interactive workbook. You’ll learn more as you engage with the scriptures and questions, writing your responses rather than just reading a book.
In week 5, day 2, she makes some profound observations about how as Christians we tend to make the you in scripture apply to us. That’s not necessarily wrong unless it’s clear from context that the you can’t possible be you. In these cases, it would have been more helpful to have a southern translation of the Bible available, for in many places you is y’all. Remember to be aware that you can also be plural or collective.
Her point is that we are myopic and selfish when we read the scriptures, but that God is hugely broad in His love for all His people.
Students in God’s classroom should realize the desire to make God’s every you mean me alone arises from an ego that says, “I prefer me to we.” I don’t think we can begin to grasp God’s encompassing love for Israel, His nation, and the body of Christ as a whole. Our human affections and interests are so narrowing comparison that we cannot comprehend the depth, length and breadth of God’s. Our tendency is to think that if He loves us all the same and has a corporate plan as important as the individual, He must be spread pretty thin. God’s love is measureless. His plans are infinite. He loves each of us and plans for us with limitless extravagance. (p100-101)
I’ll be first to confess that I too often selfishly apply God’s promises to me instead of y’all. When the Christian begins to think broadly, with the world and future generations on his/her heart, they have begun to grasp the extent of God’s heart for all nations at all times.
How can we expand our own application of God’s promises? How can we broaden our reading of scripture and accept God’s love for all people must pass through each one of us?
Next time you read a passage of scripture and are tempted to apply it only to yourself (or even to that person who you wish would change), ask how the passage was meant to be understood. Ask yourself if the you means y’all. Ask God to help you see His heart that He wants to extend through you to the world and its future generations.
After all, it’s not all about you.