Wine or Vinegar?
Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.
McLaren speaks of the “perverse ingenuity…of that state of mind in which some manage to distil for themselves a bitter vinegar of self-accusation out of grand words in the Bible that were meant to afford them but the wine of gladness and of consolation.”
The Spirit does indeed use the Word to convict the guilty and uneasy conscience, but, on the other hand, the Accuser may so beset us that Scriptures meant to give us assurance may but make us miserable. The devil is the author of a false confidence but he also generates a false diffidence, so that we get vinegar out of what should be wine to our souls.
If you have definitely committed all you are and have to God, do not be afraid to enjoy the wine of the Word. Do not cultivate a perverted taste that distils vinegar instead.