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Am I Seeing it Right?

Written by Franz Francisco

June 6, 2022

The Bible sucks. Or in the King James Version, ‘The Bible sucketh’. This was my first impression when I got my hands on a bible in the said version back when I was 7 years old. I didn’t see why people older than me would teach me about the bible and why the Sunday school where I was brought to would read stories from that book. I often see them using it as a measuring tool to see if I’m doing what they want me to do.

So growing up, I treated it like a rule book that showed me things that I am supposed to do and things that I wasn’t. It was like a person that becomes instantly angry the moment I did something wrong and turns calm and peaceful the moment I do what it deems right. In my thinking, doing good would always get me rewards and doing bad (and getting caught) meant punishment.

My main problem when I was reading the bible was viewing it with the wrong filter. I needed a new one.

My main problem when I was reading the bible was viewing it with the wrong filter. I needed a new one. 

In photography, having a filter is one of the most important tools a photographer can have. It helps see images that were not previously visible without it. Today, most people would take images and apply filters so that it can be presented in a better way. The NLT translation of Matthew 6:22 says “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light.” in which John Gill commentates, “all thy actions will be influenced by this noble principle; thy whole life will be illuminated, guided and governed by it; thy mind will be cheerful and pleasant, and thy estate and condition will be prosperous and successful. So where do I find the right filter?

The Holy Spirit helped my heart and mind to see the Bible how God intended it to be.

Jesus says in John 14:27, ‘But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

The right filter was given to me when I believed in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit came upon me. The Holy Spirit helped my heart and mind to see the Bible how God intended it to be. 

And now that I have a new filter, the Bible has helped me lead my life in the following ways:

In my daily decisions, the Bible acted as a mirror. James says “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:23-24, NIV). During the time of James, they didn’t have the same glass mirror that we have right now that shows us exactly what we look like. Their mirrors were made of bronze, or copper, or gold that needs to be flattened and polished. And even after polishing, it doesn’t give a clear reflection compared to our mirrors today. One who uses such mirrors needs to carefully and intently look in his image and see if there are any dirt or markings that needs to be removed. Like a mirror, the Bible helps me to see areas of my life that I need to improve on. It helps me to look intently at areas of my life that I need to work on and not just make passing glances without thinking how I should improve.

In my direction in life, the Bible acted as a compass. The past two years of the pandemic has caused a lot of people to lose focus on their purpose and on what direction to pursue in life. It has disrupted the livelihood of those who are working and the study habits and schedule of students. There were times during the pandemic that I felt lost as to how the world and my work will move forward. When people are lost in finding the right road to their destination, they would go to navigation apps to make sure that they are on the right path. Those who get lost in the forest only need a compass to make sure they are going in the right direction. And like me, those who are lost in life need God’s word to make sure that they are where they are supposed to be. The writer of Psalm 119 wrote in verse 9, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Like how a compass always points to the magnetic north, God’s Word directed me to Him and I was able to align my heart and my thoughts,regardless of what was happening around me. 

Ultimately, the bible speaks of a Person. Although the Bible taught me much wisdom and guidance in how I lead my life and relate to other people, the Bible is much more than just a book of do’s and don’ts. Within it is a message of love and hope to each reader. All its stories and teachings point to Jesus Christ either directly or indirectly. He is both the author and the primary character of the book and in Him, the central storyline of God’s love, mercy, justice and redemption finds its fulfillment. 

I may have started off reading the bible with the wrong filter, but by having the right filter, it has helped me to make not just the right decisions in life but also transformed me to be a better person. And because it is a book, it does me well to make sure to spend regular time with it. It has been 12 years since I started to have the right filter in my heart in reading my Bible. I have read it from Genesis to Revelations multiple times but I can say that there is still a load of treasures that I am still yet to unearth upon the pages of this beloved book. Treasures that are timely and valuable in any season of my life.. Like a well that is so deep, no matter how much I read and learn from it, I always find it refreshing and nourishing.What’s more, each time I read it, I am always brought closer to Jesus Christ. The Bible continues to help me live each day of my life with a renewed purpose, hope and love from Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour.

All its stories and teachings point to Jesus Christ either directly or indirectly.

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