In high school, my friend Eric Wren told me, “If you’re Bible is in good shape, you’re probably not!” His phrase suggests we should have marked-up Bibles than pristine. Despite this truth, it can be hard to highlight or write in our Bibles; but we need to be messy!

In a previous post, I shared my Bible highlighting system, which I try to follow when possible. However, there are times when a deviation is needed. The exception creates a dilemma because I feel if I’m going to mark Bible I want the marks to be consistent. Having talked with others I know I’m not alone in this struggle. A challenge that can impact our Bible intake, so, what to do? Again: Be messy!

Our faith rests in a relationship with Jesus. It’s not a set of rules; it’s not indulgence in ourselves, it’s a dynamic relationship when led by the Spirit can look different than other Christians. Like other healthy relationships, our faith with Jesus can be messy, not because He is a wreck, but because He is taking our mess and turning it into His message. Jesus creates this message for His glory as we grow in our relationship with Him. Therefore, our Bibles don’t have to be consistent when we mark in them. Again: Be messy!

Scripture is the primary way God relates to Christians. His scripture is perfect, but our responses will be imperfect. As a result, each mark we make in a Bible is a loving engagement towards our Lord and Savior who loved us enough to die for us. He died for us because He is perfect and we are not. Why then are we seeking a complete Bible marking system? Since we are not perfect, again: Be messy!

Our lives are messy, and it’s God’s grace through Jesus that covers our sins. It makes sense then that our Bibles should reflect His grace by how we interact with it: highlights, marks, and writings. So mark up your Bible. Again: Be messy!

Yes, it’s fine to mark in your Bible. Yes, have a highlighting system. But, there are times you’ll need to deviate from it. If so, then grace allows us not to be perfect, but relational instead. So get personal, get messy, and get relational with God by immersing yourself into His word. Then the highlight of scripture will be Christ’s message of grace than our worries of perfection. So read your Bible and for one last time: Be messy…because it’s relational!

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