We all work to make our lives as comfortable and pain-free as possible. We buy all sorts of appliances and gadgets to make hard jobs easy, and seek out any available remedy to alleviate our bodily aches and pains. And this makes perfect sense. Only a masochist would willingly accept pain that could easily be eradicated. But we dare not take this natural inclination into our study of God’s word.
Our theology must never be shaped by a desire to eliminate hard truths and downplay painful passages. Remembering that we are fallen people awaiting our future glorification, we must gladly hold on to uncomfortable doctrines and prickly principles that grate against our human sensibilities. We can expect that the assortment of God-breathed truths speaking clearly about our perfectly just and infinitely holy Creator will not all sit well in our minds this side of heaven.
So instead of reaching for a commonly heard rationalization designed to quickly take the edge off of a text that hurts, remember that God’s word is perfect and we are not. Remember that we must not allow its truth to be shaped by our thinking, but that instead we are called to conform our thinking to the truth of God’s word.