I appreciate that this is a weird question & kind of a backwards idea to knowing the Bible. Nonetheless, I think it’s a really significant thought & definitely worth your consideration. I say this because I grew up with heaps & heaps of Bible content: my mom started memorizing Proverbs when I was around 8years old, I went to Sunday School every week, took Bible classes in high school, etc. I would say that I have a relatively firm grasp on the Bible.
But I don’t think that having a sturdy grasp on the Bible is as important as the Bible having a firm grasp on us. I say this because we can far too easily quote the Bible instead of live it, or let the Bible live through us.
I think about this in terms of Paul’s words in Colossians 3:16, about the Word of God living richly in us. If I’m going to let the Bible know me, then I need to give the Bible access to my thoughts, emotions, secrets, dark corners, painful memories, relationships, character, priorities, etc. When the Bible lives richly in me, when the Bible knows me, then I find that I grow & mature in being Jesus’ follower. Let’s not only know the Bible, but let’s allow the Bible to fully know us!
Yesterday, I listened to one of my kids rant about their school, the wicked teachers, awful students & deplorable work. I don’t mind listening and sometimes I’m good at listening, which is good because my kid needed a listening ear. After about 30-45min of this content, I felt it was time for some objectivity so we had an interesting chat. I applauded their willingness to acknowledge a few of their shortfalls, but I also pointed out that from this child’s perspective, the lion’s share of the problems belonged to everyone else. This kind of thinking was allowing my kid to frame themselves as the victim & that’s no bueno. Being a victim often leaves us powerless & inert, wallowing in self pity. Seems to me that this kind of thinking runs contrary to how God has designed us, back in the Garden of Eden with power & dominion.
At the minimum, we have authority & power over our attitude & the choices we make about our perspective. Let’s be careful about how we think because our thoughts affect our words, attitudes & actions!
I like to go fast – snowboarding, quick flights & speedy travel. In the last two weeks, however, our family has taken a “slower” vacation. We’ve driven from Denver, stopping to see relatives & friends, all the way to Washington DC. We are now driving back to Denver from DC. I’ve done the round trip flight from Denver to DC more times than I can count & it takes about 7hours total (including driving & airport security) to fly one way. In contrast, it will take us 2.5 days to drive from DC to Denver, with minimal stops.
Along this vacation, I’ve noticed some significant advantages to this slower travel stuff:
More time to think, pray & explore – rather than focusing on the travel, slowing down allows me the space to pray & process
Beauty in various forms – from flat farmlands to the Smokey Mountains & rolling forested hills of West Virginia, there’s beauty everywhere. Being on the ground let’s me experience this beauty & appreciate Gods immense creativity.
Deeper conversations – getting to chat with my relatives & friends face to face has been a great benefit to this slow down approach to travel.
There’s some good wisdom to the Simon & Garfunkel song, “Feeling Groovy”
Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.
I pray that you can slow down & enjoy your weekend with the Holy Spirit!
There was a chick in the Bible who I really admire & her name is Abigail. I like her because she stood as a beacon of functional thinking contrary to lots of dysfunction swirling around her. Nabal, her husband, was a foolish man & was treating David with dishonor & dysfunction. David, for his part, was really amped up about how Nabal was treating him, so he decided to get revenge on Nabal. Everyone around Abigail had dysfunctional thinking that was creating dysfunctional behavior that could ultimately lead to destructive outcomes.
But Abigail saves the day with her functional thinking and behavior: She interrupts David’s plans & dissuades his anger. She then returns to Nabal and waits until he gets un-drunk to honestly tell him what she’d done. The outcome from all of these events is that Nabal died & Abigail married David, an upgrade from her former foolish husband.
Let’s be mindful that we don’t let dysfunctional thinking seep into our thoughts. Let’s take captive every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ! If we’ve made these bad choices (dysfunctional thinking & behavior), then let’s repent and ask the Holy Spirit to help us in our thoughts & actions to be more healthy & constructive!
I was talking with a friend this weekend about being mature. He made a comment that settled into my mind for lots of thinking. He made the statement that being an “older Christian” was the same as being a “mature Christian”. This is where I paused to think. I started to think about what it means to be a mature Christian and I thought about this in light of knowing lots of folk who have been Christians for multiple decades. Does time equal maturity?
If time and age don’t equal mature, what does it mean to be a mature follower of Jesus? Here’s a short answer: a person who is more & more Christlike is an increasingly mature follower of Jesus. If you’d like to ruminate on some sturdy ruffage on this topic, consider taking some time to read & digest Hebrew 5:11-6:8 🙂
Let’s endeavor to be not only aged followers of Jesus, but more importantly mature believers, full of Christlike fruit in our daily living 🙂
It can be easy to let routines & the daily grind lull us into not paying attention well. Doing the same thing day in & day out can be monotonous, tedious & numbing. Maybe this, in part, is why God implemented a sabbath rest – a day that’s different from the other 6 days of the week.
I think that doing something different one day a week helps us to recalibrate, come up to periscope depth & get some fresh perspective. Indeed, I think I listen better & see more accurately when I do the sabbath thing. Be sure to get some illumination this weekend from taking a rest / pause 🙂
We live in a world that applauds speed – fast wifi, speedy cars, quick thinking, hasty travel & lots more. But consider that some of the best things take time:
*slower cars frequently get fewer tickets ,)
*deep friendships: it’s been my experience that the fast friendships usually are the shortest
*coffee – brewed versus instant: nuff said
*books: for me, quick reads rarely stick to my ribs as well as a long & slow read that requires my attention & presence
I find that its really important to have times to rejuvenate & perhaps these few days are for exactly that purpose. Like virtually everyone else, it seems like December is normally packed to the gills with activities, festivities, parties, obligations & general frenzied demands. But after Christmas, there seems to be an accepted pause or exhale. For me, this break in activity is very rejuvenating. It helps me to have some space & time to think, listen, be still, enjoy my family, sleep, read, cook simple things, talk long w best friends and stay warm under a heavy blanket.
I know that soon enough, the pace will again commence & I’ll get back into the regular groove & routines. But for this time to pause, I’m thankful. Furthermore, perhaps when we take time to “sharpen the saw” maybe our work efforts will be more effective & less arduous 😀