Cured of “Versitis”

Following Jesus is less about a verse by verse detailed map that we’ve grown accustomed to, and more about following an overarching ethos, style, mood, and way of following Jesus that pays attention to the verses, but ultimately seeks the heart of Jesus within them.

For longer than I care to admit, my way of following Jesus looked like what Leonard Sweet referred to as versitis. That is, the incessant need to require a chapter and verse for every belief, every idea, and every behaviour. In many respects, I approached scripture with a need to find certainty in everything. “Show me a chapter and verse for that idea and I’ll investigate it more” was the way I handled the Bible.

As I’m getting older the need to feed my left-brain need for certainty in everything is not as hungry as it used to be. It isn’t that paying careful attention to chapter and verse has suddenly become unimportant, but that my way of following Jesus has changed from a verse by verse roadmap, to a more simplified journey of just following after Him – listening, watching, doing.

If my identity is that of a Christ-follower, I need to center my life on being and doing just that.

I need to daily immerse myself in His story. I need to place myself within His story as a character in the unfolding drama that has Him as its central character.

I need to journey with Jesus in His story…walking, listening, responding, praying. And, to maintain this posture of walking until Jesus turns to me and says, “what do you have to say about this?” – “what do you think?”

Versitis has of a way of de-personalizing the story; of turning this beautiful, life-changing, God-story into little more than a scientific experiment. An experiment where the one with the most chapters and verses to back up a claim wins!

It also has a way of making the story into something mechanical, almost robot-like, rather than walking with Jesus, which is more free-flowing and natural.

I’m learning that there’s so much more to the story than following Jesus in a robotic-kind-of-way.

Why?

Because it’s a story. A grand narrative. God’s redemptive narrative. A journeying with God, in Christ, by the Spirit.

It’s the story within which our story is found – as individuals, within community, in the world.

I’m learning to let go of versitis – to embrace God’s story and allow His story to embrace me. And, it’s proving to be the most liberating thing in the world. I love it.

So, join me in this journey and I believe you’ll begin to discover many of the same things.

Following Jesus is less about a verse by verse detailed map that we’ve grown accustomed to, and more about following an overarching ethos, style, mood, and way of following Jesus that pays attention to the verses, but ultimately seeks the heart of Jesus within them.

This article was written by Jeff K. Clarke.  Jeff is the Senior Editor of ChristianWeek, a public speaker, blogger and an award-winning published writer of articles and book reviews in a variety of faith-based publications. He also blogs at JEFFKCLARKE.COM

Simply Jesus

Simply Jesus is a conversational space and growing community seeking to inspire people of all backgrounds to consider, wonder, and dialogue about the person, life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

No Comments

Post a Comment

Host a Simply Jesus Gathering in your home!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

Sign up below to receive amazing Jesus-centered videos & articles, updates on Simply Jesus events, and much more. It's free and you can bail anytime.

Welcome to the Simply Jesus community. We're thrilled to have you!