What do I mean by “Coffee Cup Christians”? Well, a coffee cup Christian is a Christian who only seeks out certain Bible verses in the Bible that make them feel good. Kind of like the Bible verses that you see on the majority of coffee cups or journal covers. Such as Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:13, Psalm 46:10, and Joshua 1:9, to name a few. Bible verses that you will never see on coffee cups or journal covers are verses like Matthew 5:30, where it says, “and if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off…” Could you imagine seeing that on a coffee cup? People wouldn’t be able to pick it up off the shelf to buy it. (yes, I just made a joke and I’m laughing about it) Or another example is the second half of Exodus 23:19, where it says, “you shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.” That one would be strange to see and at the same time funny to see on a coffee cup or journal. Not going to lie, I kind of want one now, but do you see what I am getting at? Usually, coffee cups or journal covers have these feel-good Bible verses on them that people flock to. And I get it; they are inspirational and encouraging to people. But here’s the problem, if that’s the way we read the Bible, if we only go to the encouraging stuff, we are missing out on what God wants to do in our hearts through the rest of His Word, which is to mold us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
In my previous post, I used the example of Uzzah touching the Ark in 2 Samuel Ch. 6. If you recall, they were transporting the Ark of God on a cart carried by cows, and the cows stumbled, and Uzzah reached out and touched it to keep it from hitting the ground. God’s anger burned against Uzzah, and He killed him because God explicitly said, “don’t touch the Ark,” which is the physical representation of God. I remember the first time I ever read that passage. I was on my couch with my iPad; yes, I know, I use my iPad to read my bible, but I was reading my bible, and as soon as I read that passage, I had to turn it off and set it down. That passage made me question God. The first thought that went through my head was, “God, that seems a kind of harsh. I mean, he was only trying to keep it from hitting the ground.” But what I didn’t realize at the time was that passage revealed something about my heart. It showed me that I had a low view of sin and a low view of God’s holiness. I had the illusion that my sin wasn’t that “bad” because I wasn’t as “bad” as others. My skimming through the bible, my picking out parts that I wanted to read caused me to seek the Word of God in a way that made me ask, “what could God do for me?” instead of me seeking it in a way for God to change me. In the end, I was being a “self-seeking reader” of God’s Word instead of being a “God-seeking reader.” You could say I was being a “Coffee Cup Christian.”
What’s the point of all of this? If we stay away from passages in the Word of God that we don’t like or seem hard to read, then we will never grow in holiness that God calls us to, the holiness that is only accomplished through His Word. God, through the truth of His Word, pierces our hearts like a sword and lays it open, and says, “this is what’s wrong; let me fix it.” Growing in holiness, growing in maturity as His children are only accomplished through His Word. And if we don’t get into the hard parts of His Word, then we aren’t allowing Him to confront the sin of our hearts. Ultimately, by only reading the parts of God’s Word that encourages us or inspires us, we are stunting our growth as Christians and hindering our walk with Him. We are essentially saying that only the part of God’s Word that we like are worth our time. Just me typing that sentence stings. In the end, being a “Coffee Cup Christian” is harmful to our hearts; it hinders the amazing, wonderful work that God wants to do in our lives by transforming us to be like Jesus. We should be praying and asking God to enlighten our eyes to the wonders of His Word and get into the so-called “unpopular” parts of His Word, allowing Him to confront the sin that we all tend to hold on to. Why? So that we can shine as lights in this dark and twisted generation (Philippians 2:15).
“12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”