The Problem with Life Verses

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:12-17 (ESV)

I don’t like life verses. 

Actually, it’s not just that I don’t like life verses. I find them maddeningly unhelpful. I find them 100% counter-productive when it comes to Christian life.

Let me explain life verses for those of you who don’t know. A Christian’s “life verse” is the one verse that speaks to a Christian and applies to their life more than any other. 

Now, in the right situations, these verses can be a good thing. For example, if you struggle with thinking your sins are lesser than others’, as I have, maybe you should keep James 2:10 in mind. Or if you’re worried about how to live out your Christianity, remembering Romans 12 is a good place to start. 

But the fact there will never be one verse or passage that applies to you in every single situation. I talked about a year ago in a post called The Importance of Context that a verse by itself doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know why it’s being said. In the same way, Philippians 4:13 may not be a great verse to use if you have a good friend stuck in sexual sin. 

I know most people don’t ONLY use their life verse for situations, but it’s time to be honest. By picking ONE verse, you’re essentially saying the rest of the Bible is not as good. You’re saying that what the Word of God says about one thing is more important than another. We’d never admit that, but yeah, that’s what it means. 

So next time someone asks what your life verse is, just say “The Bible.” The entire book is your life. Don’t let your search for a “life verse” get in the way of making you a better Christian. Just something to think about. 


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