IGRC For Unity Devotional for October 16, 2022
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Thomas Edison famously said that “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” The writer of 2 Timothy claims that Scripture is 100% inspiration. Yet what is inspiration? The Greek word translated to “inspiration” is theopnuestos. In this word we can see the roots for “God” and “Breath.” So inspired seems to literally mean “God-Breathed.”
Is this the same however, as God-authored, or God-dictated? It seems to me that the leap from “inspired” to infallible or inerrant, as some make, stretches credulity. Scripture is inspired by God, but what does that mean?
Inspiration is often described as a moment. It is the moment a tune enters a song-writer’s head. Whistled out of nowhere as they walk through the park. The birthplace of the tune cannot be located or named. It seems to have breathed out of the artist from nothing. The painter sitting at the easel begins to create. Why does the brush move the way it does? How is each color chosen, mixed, and applied?
There are years of work, study, technique, and practice behind every stroke of a brush. The same is true behind every note of a trumpet of the jazz player. Yet in that moment when the air pushes through the instrument or when the brush touches the canvass, that is inspiration. Is that a God-moment? Some artists would certainly attest to being inspired by God. Few however, would say that God moved the brush. The inspiration moved the artist, and the artist created. God and humanity are co-creators of things inspired.
More important than the nature of inspiration however, is the purpose of that inspiration. Scripture has a purpose. It is “so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good.”
Too many use Scripture for harm. They use it to perpetuate preconceived prejudices. They use it to strengthen their flimsy understanding of biology, history, and culture.
“They will collect teachers who say what they want to hear because they are self-centered. 4 They will turn their back on the truth.” They build echo-chambers of their opinions, ignore evidence and science and instead listen to rumors, click-bait YouTubers, or conspiracy theorists with an agenda. Scripture is meant to lead us to good and not harm.
If your use of Scripture is not doing good, then you’re using it wrong. Scripture is inspired by God and is meant to inspire good. God who is good created humanity who is good, and gave us Scripture to help us find the good and do good in the world.