My GPS is Evil…

…no, it’s not evil because it gets it wrong. It’s evil because it gets it right. And you don’t have to do a thing to make sure it does… or learn how it does…

In the old days, you needed a map to get somewhere, and in using that map, you learned the basic geographical layout of where you were and where you were going. This meant, in my experience, that a good local map helped you learn a new area when you moved there, something I’ve done about 4 or 5 times in my adult life.

But I moved to a new town this year, and for the first time, I don’t have one of those cool local map books. I have a GPS.

What happens? I don’t know how to get anywhere, I never know where I am… I only know how to follow directions to get to the address I typed in (hopefully correctly) to the GPS. When I don’t have the GPS with me and traffic gets rerouted, I frantically call my wife on the phone because I get panicky when I’m lost and I’m a big baby behind the wheel.

It’s a little bit like how Christians sometimes “use” the Bible. As a moral or therapeutic GPS to get me somewhere… In other words, when we’re feeling down, we go to familiar passages for comfort, when we’re in an argument we go to familiar passages to make our point, when we’re trying to figure out what God’s will is for us, we go to whatever passages we think might hold those answers.

I’m pretty sure that’s not doing it right.

I think the Bible isn’t as much a set of directions to follow God’s instructions one way or another… as much as it’s a map of who God is and what God’s doing in this world… and we get to learn all about every nook and crevice, every highway and alley of what God has revealed about the Divine personality.

So, go ahead, read the easy stuff and the hard stuff… get the whole lay of the land… learn it all…


3 thoughts on “My GPS is Evil…

  1. Cory Zipperle says:

    The interesting thing is that it’s not the GPS’ fault. We have our tools and we either use them to do the work for us or we use them to augment our own work. If you let your GPS do the work for you, you’ll never be a better navigator than your GPS.

    The same can be said of Scripture. It may be the only written component that we have from the Lord, but being a Christian is so much more than the letter. It’s the relational aspect – the engagement that comes when we’re not busy memorizing scripture.

    The truth is, while the Bible is God’s holy word, it was never intended to stand on it’s own. Christians who rely only on the Bible (typically in lieu of a relationship with the Lord) end up legalistic and only able to navigate life and relationships with whatever verses they deem to be important.

  2. pietrosquared says:

    A little like a calculator. It can make you worse… OR BETTER… at math.

    You’re right that Christians can’t rely “only” on the Bible (Methodists have the quadrilateral, Scripture, Reason, Tradition, and Experience). The fact is… nobody relies only on Scripture, even those who devoutly claim they do…

    • Cory Zipperle says:

      Technically, you’re right, nobody totally relies on Scripture… And for that matter, nobody totally relies on their GPS, even if they think they do. Even the devout followers of the GPS who land their cars in lakes. 🙂 But the fact remains, if it’s used to do the work for us, it’s going to cripple us.

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