It seems ages ago that I became acquainted with her Bible studies. I was leaving a bookstore at the time and I can’t remember if it was the now-defunct Borders Bookstore or Barnes and Noble. The religion section was off to my left and someone was calling me over there. It was Jesus. But thinking it was my imagination, I left the store. I ended up going back because curiosity got the best of me. When I walked to that section the pull of Jesus was even stronger until, as I walked along the wall of books, the one book I needed to see jumped out at me. It was “Jesus – The One and Only.” It was a big book, a Bible study, written by Beth Moore. I took the book down off the shelf and I bought it. I am not sure if I bought it that day or had to wait till I had the money to buy it but I did eventually buy it. It was riveting and I found Beth Moore very human and I could identify with her. I absolutely loved the study about Jesus, my One and Only.
I have a number of her books now and she is far from perfect as any honest Christian can say about themselves. There have been plenty of negative things said about her and things taken out of context. I remember seeing a small section of one video of hers some time back and it was clearly an old one judging by the poor quality of it. But that one particular section made me frown and I was saddened by it.
Well, in my heart, I still wanted to like her and still bought her studies. The most recent one I have is called “Entrusted” which I have been going through slowly. In that study she totally admits to her own mistakes and past sins which have long ago been repented of. One of them now explains that video clip I saw. I will just write what she wrote here:
“I wanted to please people in the worst way and I do mean the whole lot of them. Every camp of Christianity. Every person I taught. My leaders, my friends, my coworkers, and God knows I wanted to please my mother.”
It was a people-pleasing addiction that she had to break with the help of God. And she did break it. I am not going to go into that old video at all. It’s in the past, but I want to illustrate that no true Christian is perfect and we all make mistakes. Whoever posted that video clip on their own website was looking for something to condemn her by. They should be more worried about what Jesus thinks of that than what Beth Moore might have said or did many years ago.
The never-ending spiral of people pleasing addiction can turn anyone to dust because people, as a whole, are selfish and there is no pleasing them. Because just when you think they might like you, they end up treating you with contempt. It is way, way better to please God and a much nicer experience. In pleasing people you might also compromise with your own core beliefs, as well, which puts you in more danger of displeasing God. Besides, if you stick to pleasing God He will take care of those others, as well.
So for the most part, I like Beth Moore because she writes really great Bible-based studies (I saw the one on the Patriarchs in Lifeway Bookstore that I really want to get!) and because she is very human and will admit to it. And it also takes a lot of courage to admit one’s mistakes in public. Most have trouble admitting their own secret sins to themselves, let alone open themselves up to public humiliation by admitting them in print.
The lesson learned is to be careful of what you read and believe about others unless they are glaringly a heretic and I can name a few who make my hair stand on end. But instead, have the mind of Christ and pray for His guidance. Pray for those who might have fallen off the narrow road that they might be brought back to Jesus. Sometimes it is just best to have tunnel vision with only seeing Jesus Christ standing at the end of it. God bless you all.