We all learned from Math that a fraction is not equal to a whole number. Pretty basic. But why is it that when it comes to the truth, we usually treat parts as though it is the whole? Let me tell you what I mean.
Towards the end of the book of Acts is an account about Paul and his encounter with Felix, a Roman governor. It’s quite a short chapter and it could easily be overlooked. But this time, a particular verse caught my attention.
As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” – Acts 24:25 (NIV)
At first it doesn’t really look like there’s something wrong with this scenario. After all, Felix has the upper hand over Paul so he can easily just order him to be summoned anytime he wants. However there was something strangely familiar with the Roman governor and his words. Hmmm. Let me read his statement again, and read it aloud this time. “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.”
Oh, okay. So that’s why it was familiar. He sounded just like me! It’s embarrassing to admit, but I actually find myself sometimes having the same attitude: telling God ‘when I find it convenient, I’ll send for you,’ as though He is my servant rather than the Lord of my life.
Do you also find yourself at times being like Felix? Yeah, I feel you. No need to stand up or raise your hand, you can just nod in silent agreement and read on.
As Christians, it’s not that we don’t want to hear the truth. We do, but sometimes we just want parts of it—parts that make us feel good, parts that speak about blessings, parts that talk about provision. When it comes to the hard parts, we start to tune out. We close our bibles and say ‘that’s enough for now.’ Maybe even thinking that if we didn’t read it, then it wouldn’t apply to us. However, we have to remember that truth is truth. Not knowing about it or not acknowledging it doesn’t nullify it. And this truth is found in Jesus Christ.
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
Jesus is the truth. He is the truth that changed my life. And if He is my truth, then I shouldn’t be picking certain parts that I like. Instead, I should accept His truth in whole—both the simple and the complex, both the comforting and the challenging, both the instructive and the corrective. I know it won’t be easy, but by faith it is something I can choose everyday. Why? Because He is worthy. Because when He was on the cross, He didn’t choose which parts He would suffer for my sins. He endured it all. Because when He accepted me, He didn’t just select the useful and obedient parts of me. He received all of me. And because He loves me, not in parts, but wholly and completely.
How about you? What are you choosing today?