I grew up in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement. Children were encouraged (conditioned, indoctrinated, and cajoled) to get “saved” at an early age. Many IFB children get saved at least twice: first as a young child and then as a teenager. I professed faith in Jesus at age five, and then I really, really, really got saved at fifteen.
After having a born-again experience, young converts are encouraged to choose a “life verse”; Bible verses that would become lifelong governing principles.
My partner Polly’s life verse was Micah 6:8:
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Pretty good advice to live by: justice, mercy, and humility.
My life verse was Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
These words governed much of my Christian life: trust the Lord with all my heart. Don’t trust my own understanding. In all my ways, acknowledge God, and if I do so, he will direct my paths.
Did you have a life verse? Did your chosen verse affect how you lived your life? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.
Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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