Proving A Point Versus Shaping A Life?

I have recently realized that much of my bible reading is in order to prove a point.  If I am in a religious or political or cultural debate with someone, for example, then I’ll just pull out my Scriptures, point out the relevant verses, and voila!  Point proven.

Which in the grand scheme of things is a poor use of inspired words.

Now: doctrine matters.  Truth needs to be defended and error needs to be exposed.  If you doubt that, just read the book of Jude.  (See, I just proved a point.)

Yet something tells me that God would rather me dig into the treasures of Scripture so that my life will be stretched and pulled and formed and finally made into the piece of God’s workmanship it was intended to be.

So that when I read about regarding others as better than yourself, then I’d really become less self-centered.

So that when I read what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul, I’d recognize that preachers can be just as subject to vain ambition as anyone else.  And then adjust.

So that when I read about bearing with one another, my patience would grow and my ability to forgive would deepen.

What would happen if I encountered Scripture not so much to prove a point but to shape my life?

I’d win fewer debates.

But I’d be living more in the Spirit.