All men might be created equal…but the same thing can’t be said about the ingredients in trail mix.
A single bag of trail mix may contain 8-10 different elements. Standard ingredients usually include some sort of nut such as cashews, almonds, or pecans. The snack food likely has simple carbs such as pretzels or cereal wafers. It could even have bits of granola or dried fruits like banana chips, cranberries, or raisins. Of course, the best trail mixes include morsels of chocolate to sweeten the deal.
Unsurprisingly, many people have strong opinions about some of those ingredients. “I’m allergic to peanuts.” Or, “I don’t like raisins.” Or maybe even, “I like my coconut a little less…dried.”
Those preferences cause most of us to pick out the parts we like and leave behind the pieces we don’t like. We search for M&Ms like they’re buried pirate treasure…and throw away the raisins like they’re nuclear waste. That’s fine; it’s our prerogative to pick one and discard another.
The trouble occurs when we bring that same mindset to the Bible. Our tendency is to devour the passages about love and mercy and grace…while wrinkling our noses at the verses about confessing sin or forgiving enemies or sharing generously. Some verses are simply more appealing to us than others.
But the Bible isn’t like trail mix. You can’t just pick out the parts you like.