Some of you will know what I’m talking about here, and it’s probably not even something I should bother bringing up, but take it or leave it.
I’ve never liked the idea of having a “life verse”. To those of you who have one, I don’t mean to come down hard on you and this may or may not apply to you, but for the many times I’ve been asked what my favorite or “life” verse is, the question has never really made sense to me…and it seems to be a fad in the church, there’s almost a pressure to have one or you just may not be as spiritual as the next guy. Usually I’m tempted to just say I like the whole Bible, but then as my sister would say, I just come off sounding like an elitist. I’m not sure if people think that having a life verse proves their bible knowledge or kicks them up a rank, but to me it’s more limiting than anything else. It removes us one step from the truths of 2 Timothy 3:16 & Hebrews 4:12, that all scripture is God-breathed and is living and active. And we can grow in our depth of understanding different passages at different times.
I’ve heard life verses delivered in tones that convey prideful ownership by the one reciting, rather than the delivery of a humble person who has been given a gift. To this I say that though scripture should be extremely close to our hearts and we should cling to its promises as they are the hope of our salvation, all christians share these words of life, so this underlying one-upmanship has no place.
Another issue to me is that when we assume we’ve found one passage that has a deeper truth for us, or that we’ve figured out one passage to a special level, we are in danger of having a lesser view of the rest of scripture comparatively, and thus not preparing ourselves to grow organically with scripture as God opens it up to us. I can certainly agree that there have been certain times in my life where certain passages have spoken very deeply or specifically to me, but if you are reading the Bible regularly then it’s hard for me to see one passage staying at the top of your list, unless it is the only passage you are reading.
So maybe I’m just quibbling, but it may be a better question to ask someone what they are currently learning or for a passage that at some time has spoken deeply to them and have them elaborate, rather than the rubber stamp answer of “this is my life verse”. There is simply to much treasure in scripture to sit idly in one spot. If you currently have a favorite, then I challenge you to try find a new favorite, and to continue this hunt as the Word of God is a deeper well than any of us will ever explore in this life.