Encouragement From The Word

Looking for loopholes

In yesterday’s Federal Budget, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced that the government will take measures to plug some of the loopholes in the tax laws that enable people to prevent paying taxes that should rightly be paid to the Canada Revenue Agency.  I say “some of the loopholes”, because we Canadians are a creative bunch:  when some loopholes get filled, we find ways of uncovering others that we can use, until the government decides to fill those, too.

Loopholes tend to be good news for the taxpayer, and bad news for the government.  We’re good at finding them, though, aren’t we?

One time, the great American comedian W.C. Fields was in hospital, and a visitor found him reading a Bible.  Not having been known as an avid Bible reader, the visitor inquired as to his purpose for uncharacteristically picking up Holy Writ.  His response?  “I’m looking for loopholes.”

There are many ways to read Scripture.  Some look, in vain, for a vague hint of fine print that will get them out of trouble for some aberrant belief or preferred sin.  Others read the Bible to gain information that will help fill their minds.  Still others read God’s Word as a love letter, hanging on every word as a message from the Lord.

While all Scripture is equally inspired, not all Scripture is equally applicable.  It’s important to remember that, when we read the Bible, God can and will speak to us in different and often very personal ways.  But the attitude with which we read it is crucial.

When you read the Bible, are you looking for loopholes, or looking for love?

People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4.4, NLT).