The Bible Is Not a Buffet: Why Picking and Choosing Is Not Okay

We're tempted to want to throw out verses that don't agree with our ideals, but the Bible is not a buffet. Here's why picking and choosing is not okay. #Biblestudy #1Samuel #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

Last week, we talked about letting go of our baggage and burdens, so we can live freely. Today we are talking about letting go of one more thing…our sin.

We all have pet sins, that feel good, but we know they are not good for us. If we will let go of our sin and obey God in these areas, God will give us greater joy than that sin –we are holding on to, can ever give us.

If you are aching to live a life that is more free, join me as we discuss the importance of remembering: the Bible is not a buffet and why picking and choosing is not okay.

{If you are reading this in an email or feed – click here to view the video}

This week the Good Morning Girls read 1 Samuel chapters 11-15.

In chapter 15 of our reading, Saul felt so little remorse for his disobedience to God, that he actually set up a monument to himself in Israel, for his victory. No other leader in Israel had ever done this!

Can you imagine the level of pride this must have taken? He was so self-deceived that he did not even give God the glory for their win!

As a result of Saul’s pride and lack of repentance, Saul’s crown was taken from him but rather than repenting, instead – Saul was only worried about how he appeared to the people. After his crown was removed, Saul said to Samuel:

“But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel.” (v.30)

Saul cared more about what people thought of him, than what God thought of him.

Friends, it is more important that you heed the small voice of God and repent of your sin and walk in obedience, than you go sacrifice big sums of money, or go on a missions trip – for Jesus.  These might make you look good to people but God knows our heart.

“To obey is better than sacrifice.” (v. ?)

As believers, we are tempted to substitute religious works for obedience.

There is no service we can substitute for obeying God.

EM Bounds writes:

“Unquestionably obedience is a high virtue, a soldier quality. To obey belongs, preeminently, to the soldier. It is his first and last lesson, and he must learn how to practice it all the time, without question uncomplainingly.” 

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

The Bible is not a buffet – picking and choosing is not okay.

Let’s repent.

Let’s live free.

Walk with the King,


**Chime In** 

After watching the video, is there something God is asking you to do – or not do – that you need to lay down in obedience God?





  1. Wow, thank you for your video, Courtney! A message so clear, so clean, so direct to the heart.
    Thank you so much…I am going to show it to my daughter later.

    God bless your day!!!

  2. Courtney, you are amazing in how you explain God’s Word and encourage us to righteousness. I thank God for you.

  3. I didn’t see/understand today’s chapter very well until you explained it. I thought the only thing Saul had done wrong was not obey the exact commands of God. Now I had a big aha! he was looking for approval from the wrong people! That’s what I love so much about GMG. The things that I can’t ‘see’ someone else does and then the dots are put together and wow! now I get it. ???? Thank you and all the other ladies fir doing what you do!

  4. Hi Courtney,
    Thanks so much for your video actually talking about sin! So many times you hear about Jesus’ love for us and how we can lay our burdens on Him, like you spoke about last week, but I feel like this is the other side that goes along with that! We don’t hear much these days about turning away from anything, especially the things that make us feel good!
    I never thought I’d get so much out of this book of the Bible, but I related to so many things!!! I really related when the Israelites wanted a king “so we may be like all the nations”.ch8 v20.
    That reminded me of ME when I compare myself to others and want things so I can ” be like” others.. comparing myself and so many things to others…(UGH) ????
    So again, thank you and bless you for your faithfulness!!!

  5. Hi Anita, yes, sometimes in the Old Testament it’s hard for me to see what’s going on but then after reading the comments and Courtney explaining it, I also have those AHA times!!!
    You’re not alone! ????????
    Thank you for sharing that!!!

  6. Sometimes we cannot see the repercussions of failing to obey God, which is a sin. I hadn’t spoken with my father in 9 years, he is abusive and I’ve been released (if only for a season) from this. God recently laid out on my heart to have a conversation with him. I took my husband of 6 years for morale support. I came away wondering why I was called to do this as nothing has changed and still, weeks later, there is no further conviction to have any additional contact. It wasn’t until my husband spoke with me later that I realized my act of obedience was for him, not me and not my father. He needed to see me acting solely upon my faith and trust in God and apparently he needed to see with his own eyes the way my father acts toward family. My marriage has been improving and I attribute a lot to the repercussions of stepping out in faith in this one act as well as a few other things God has called me to do (like 2 weeks of daily 6am prayer at my local church and my own daily prayer and prayer growth at home). Had I sinned and not done as God asked I would have missed this.

    1. Amazing! Thank you for sharing this. It’s so good to see God’s work in situations when the outcomes weren’t what we expected.

  7. Wow, that’s an amazing testimony Jasmin! I feel called to “go and tell” more people about the Lord in every day life, so not to designate a specific day of the week for it but to allow God to “interrupt” me when I’m doing my schedule during the week. It’s very hard for me to change gears when I already know how I want to spend my time. I hear God calling me more and more to stop and go talk to people I see on the street. It really doesn’t take that much time to get someone food and pray for them. It’s purely an obedience issue for me to stop what I want and obey scripture. Jesus is showing me there are PLENTY of low cost mission trips available to me every day if I just listen to God’s still small voice. I want to take God’s word for it more and see Him do amazing things!


  8. Courtney, once again, you speak truth! God bless you for your obedience to Him and for your encouragement to all of us to do the same. What a light in this dark world you are, shining His light!! Praying for your family and sad for all you have personally had to walk through this last year. Thank you for being so vulnerable to share your heart. Marriage is so very hard and the enemy is attacking. Praying for God to strengthen you and your children as never before. Also praying for the eyes and heart of Keith to be opened to Jesus and for reconciliation. Much love and prayers,

  9. Courtney, this is so spot on. A lot of Christians like to prioritize one sinner over another. Christians get on their soapbox about homosexuality as if that is bigger than anything in the 10 Commandments. The bible also says “Do not judge.” God will hold everyone accountable for their actions, we need to be more concerned with what we are doing in our own lives, rather than what other people are doing! I am so sick of aggressive Christians giving the rest of us a bad name! Great video 🙂

  10. We love you and what you say.

    God bless, the Lord is really moving through you.

    Thank you for sharing and giving your time to help us grow stronger in the Lord.

  11. Thank you for your convictions and speaking the truth in love Courtney! The world does not want to hear the truth, it wants to hear what it’s itching ears want to hear. And so we shrink back for fear of being persecuted, losing friends and family ,being fired. Ect. We know that wide is the gate that leads to destruction from failure to let go of sins and be odedient and many will enter through it the Bible says. It’s quite scary. Yet we see even John the Baptist is beheaded by King Herodoious for constantly saying he shouldn’t sleep with his brothers wife. It is not judging others. Please keep each other in prayer as we uphold the gospel.

  12. It took me a while to download it, but it finally is saved in my Adobe Reader!! I can’t wait to get started!!

  13. So thankful for you! You’re such a strong woman of God! I enjoyed the video….really helps to hear someone else explain it. Praying for you and your family. Praying God will open up BIG doors for you this year!

  14. God has been really working on me in my obedience. It’s crazy how when I began to realize I am being disobedient to GOD HIMSELF, it scared me and slowly but surely God cleansed me from the sin that I was so entangled in. AND that is only because I chose to be obedient. That is key. If we keep disobeying God, we can’t grow and He can’t reveal Himself to us. What a great lesson.

  15. I am just now getting through 1st Samuel with this study in hopes that I can begin 2nd Samuel with you all and I just wanted to say thank you so much for the video this week. It was so helpful as this whole study has been so far. I struggle with insecurity and the Lord is opening my eyes (very wide) to how much Saul relied on people to prop him up, rather than trusting and obeying God. As I see how his weaknesses turned into fatal flaws I say I do not want to go down that path! Thank God for His Word to warn us and thank you for pointing us to it! Bless you, sister!

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