It was a slow change. I went to college to study the Bible because I loved God and wanted to be better prepared to share His word with others. I found myself leaving college with a love of the study of the Word more than a love of God Himself. I loved Greek. I loved New Testament. I loved theology. But somewhere along the way I stopped loving God.
You see, I’m stupid. Yes, stupid. After some time in college, I began grasping the thoughts and concepts to a degree that (in my stupid head) I thought, “oh here is a new, better relationship with God.” But it wasn’t. I gave up my prayer life, my one-on-one devotional reading of the Bible. In turn, I translated from Greek. I read systematic theology texts. I began research in textual criticism. Now, these things aren’t bad. They can really round out the context of the Bible, but these things are not the relationship I needed. I began to worship these things. They became my idols. They unrightfully took the spot in my life that belonged to God.
It took a tragic event (which I’ll talk about another time) to make me re-evaluate my life – to see what had happened, where I’d messed up. I had to set down my GNT, stop reading theology, end this blog for a while, and refocus my worship on God. Now, I’m finally comfortable to say that I can pick those things back up without them becoming idols once more, but it has not been a fun road. It’s taken time. A lot of time.
I wonder how many Bible college and seminary students are in a similar boat. If it weren’t for that event I spoke of, I might never have realized how far off I was. How many, then, are there who have no idea that they are placing something above God in their lives (even within these sorts of institutions)? I fear the number is high.