Have you ever picked cherries? The idea is to choose the ripe ones while ignoring the rest.
Some of us “cherry pick” the Scriptures by selecting the truths we like while disregarding the others.
And what we like to pick from the Scriptures are the truths that insure God’s promises of material blessings, healing, and general well-being, while ignoring His demands for separation from sin; living a life of integrity, purity, and servanthood.
If we are “cherry picking” the Scriptures, we are guilty of reducing the Word of God and Jesus Christ to a servile role that caters to our insatiable self-love.
Conversely, Paul, in preaching God’s Word resisted the temptation of “cherry picking” the Scriptures: “I have not hesitated to proclaim the whole will of God.” (Acts 20:27)
Some time ago I counseled a businessman who, along with his partners, were knowingly marketing a product that was defrauding their customers.
Imagine it! These men who supposedly had been touched by the love of Christ were using their position as leaders in the Christian community to exploit others! Apparently Scriptural “cherry picking” had dulled their conscience to make such behavior palatable.
Paul cautioned us: “Live as free men, But do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil… to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (1 Peter 2:16; Galatians 5:13)
QUESTION: Are you ruthlessly applying all the Scriptures to your life, or are you selectively “cherry picking” the ones that pander your narcissistic tendencies?
The next time you are tempted to soften your stance on integrity by “cherry-picking” the Scriptures you choose to apply, keep in mind Jesus’ warning,
“If anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life, and in the holy city… ” (Revelation 22:19a)