Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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How Do You Read?

A copy of Barclay’s Amoy translation, opened t...

I have a question for you:

When you read your Bible, do you ever find yourself reading with an outward view?

I’m embarrassed to share it, but if I’m not careful, here’s what I catch myself doing: I’ll be reading along in, oh, say Proverbs. As I read, I have a kind of inner dialogue with God. (Does everyone or am I the only person who has chats with the Almighty?)

13:1–A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.

Did you want me to jot that on a post-it, Lord, and stick it to my kid’s doors? I’m not sure they’ve read it, and they really should. Except, would it be okay to change father’s instruction to mother’s? Or even parents?

3– He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

Oh, yes, Father! I know Terrance should hear that one. He had to have missed it. I’ll be happy to share with him.

4– The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

I know lots of people who need to hear that, Father! Thank you. I can share it with writers who don’t write and bloggers who don’t blog. So many people out there need to learn that lesson! 

7–One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

Wow. People haven’t changed much, have they, Lord?

10–Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. 

Oh, I know people who should read that! And “pride goeth before a fall”. I know, because they’re too proud to listen when I share your stuff with them. Gotta write that one down!

13–He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded.

Oh, you want me to share with Rosemary, don’t you, Lord? Maybe I should drop her a note in the mail. I don’t have to sign it, so she won’t have to be embarrassed when I’m around.

See what I’m talking about? If I’m not careful, I’ll find myself reading to see who can use a verse so I can “share”. But what I should really be doing is reading to see what God has to say to me.

13– He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded. 14–The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. 15–Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.

Good understanding of God’s word is what I’m praying for. I don’t want to scorn instruction that God has put in front of me. I hope I can drink deeply from the fountain of life and respect God’s commands so I can be rewarded.

I want to bring a smile to God’s lips (“at least the woman’s trying”) not make Him roll His eyes. (“She just doesn’t get it.”)