There is a phrase from the comedy, Mystery Men, that I think perfectly describes my relationship with the Lord. In the scene Ben Stiller, who plays Mr. Furious, is frustrated with the new leader of his ragtag band of superheroes, The Sphinx. The Sphinx majors in formulaic phrases like, “when you care what is outside, what is inside cares for you.” Or “He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions.”
In one particular scene Mr. Furious, balancing a tack hammer on his head, questions The Sphinx’s methods. The Sphinx responds with another formulaic saying: “When you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack.”
The camera then pans to Mr. Furious questioning why he is wearing watermelon on his feet. To this the Sphinx says, “I don’t remember telling you to do that.”
And there it is.
“I don’t remember telling you to do that.”
Wearing Watermelon Shoes
I wear watermelon shoes.
How many times have I set for myself an imaginary standard, failed to meet that standard, and then end up feeling guilty before a holy God for not accomplishing the goal that I set?
This is why a true understanding of the sufficiency of Scripture can be so helpful. I say “true understanding” because there is much being paraded around these days on the doctrine of sufficiency that is foreign to its historical meaning. I digress. One aspect of the doctrine of sufficiency is that we do not have the right to call something a sin which is not forbidden by Scripture either explicitly or by strong implication. And we are not required to do something unless Scripture requires this of us.
I want to finish 100 books this year. I believe reading good books helps me to grow as a person. I don’t know if I’ll make my goal, though. So, what happens if I don’t? Track the logic here:
A. Reading good books helps you grow as a person.
B. God desires for you to grow
Therefore: God desires you to read good books
A. The more you read the more you’ll grow
B. Reading 100 books is a good goal
C. God wants me to be faithful and have integrity in accomplishing my goals.
Therefore: God wants me to read 100 books this year.