Positive effect of Bible verses on people

Does the Bible have a positive impact on culture and individual lives when people put its teaching into practice?   Here are some real life stories.

• Bible's teaching on loving your enemy stops tribal violence (video)

  Thieves had broken into a church belonging to the Tennet people and taken most of the chairs. In past years, before the Tennet became Christians, they had specific customs for dealing with thieves. They would publicly call down curses from the spirits on those who had stolen from them, and then they would take their revenge. For generations they have lived in fear of spirits and revenge attacks. But this is beginning to change as passages such as Hebrews 12:24 are read and understood. Believers are realizing that God has different plans for them, plans of love and a better way of life. So when news of the stolen chairs reached church members, they did not react in the old way. Instead, they met together and prayed for the thieves—for them to know the Lord. —Janet Persson, on the Tennet church in Juba, South Sudan

• I am married and have four children. There were serious problems between me and my husband, and I had decided to leave him. Divorce proceedings were underway, but then I decided to go and talk to the leader of my church. As it happened, a Faith Comes By Hearing group was there when I arrived, listening to a passage from the New Testament that talks about love and forgiveness. I joined the group and through listening and the discussion that followed, I understood that I needed to abandon my intention to divorce my husband, and obey Jesus. I am still living with my husband, and things are going much better. I give the glory to God. —Madeleine, Léo village, Burkina Faso

• The Sursurunga of Papua New Guinea believe evil spirits will seize the spirit of a child who cries, causing sickness and death. Because of this, parents lie to their children from their earliest years to hinder crying: “Tala, we need to go.” Little Tala refuses and cries, so his mother says, “There’s a truck waiting on the road. Do you want to go for a ride?” There’s no truck, but he stops crying and goes with his mother. In May 2011, a group of Sursurunga people attended a course to learn how to study their recently translated New Testament. They heard that lying is a sin against God and were convicted to change the way they relate to their children. “The talk about truth really pierced my liver, causing me to feel sorrow and begin new behavior. I am committed to speak the truth to my new grandchild,” said one man. A woman who has been a believer and teacher for many years confessed, “I must always speak the truth. I have been manipulating my grandchildren with lies. I need to focus on speaking the truth in every situation.” One grandfather called his family together and confessed his sin of lying to his children when they were small, saying that the moon would eat them if they cried. One of his daughters had started telling her children the same lie. He picked up his nine-month-old grandchild and asked her forgiveness. He urged his whole family to do the same and he prayed, asking God to cut this sin from his family. —Karen Weaver, writer, Papua New Guinea

• Since the Gospel of Luke in Tembo was launched a decade ago, Christians have become interested in reading Scripture portions [as they are produced] during church services, and are freely using their [local] language. Even on the local radio stations at Hombo, as well as at Goma and Bukavu [large cities], we hear biblical messages played in our language, which are much appreciated. We note that polygamy and divorce are becoming less frequent and that education for female children is no longer neglected. —Rev. Batasema Nganga, Democratic Republic of the Congo

•  I call the audio New Testament “The Reconciler.” Before it came to us, there were many problems between husbands and wives. Our wives do not understand the Bambara language well, and the only Bible available was in Bambara. Now, listening to the Scriptures in our language, Minyanka, the Word of God is clear, and each of us sees himself in it while listening. Forgiveness is more frequent now in our families. I was ready to take a second wife, but when I heard what Jesus said about marriage and divorce in Matthew 19, I decided against it. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in adultery. —Samuel N., southeast Mali

•   Lawlessness ruled when my wife and I started Bible translation work among the Pinai-Hagahai. Within months of our arrival in the remote region of Papua New Guinea, our house was looted and destroyed, people were robbed and beaten, and the whole village was abandoned and burned down. But God had neither forgotten nor abandoned his lost sheep. People kept praying, and over the course of several years, the four Gospels and Acts were translated into Pinai-Hagahai and recorded on MegaVoice audio players for those who couldn’t read. Would this oral Scripture affect people’s lives? I hoped so. In July 2011, many spoke out about the audio Scriptures. To us, the testimonies are nothing short of a miracle: “It says don’t steal, don’t be stubborn, don’t slander. That talk pierced my heart. I stopped doing that. Now I go to church.” (Deni, father of four children)

•  “I became a Christian four years ago. Before that, I stole things. Now I read the book as well as listen to MegaVoice. It helps me in my faith.” (Pita, a young elder in the church)

Simple bulleted list summary you can copy and paste: