Monday, November 9, 2009

Waste No Words

It makes for an interesting read when every word matters. Authors of well-known and best-selling stories and novels spend untold hours toiling over every word that appears in print. Can you imaging spending that much time reviewing every single word and its placement in a 500 page novel? Simply amazing. Too often I am guilty of wasting words. Maybe you are too.

When it comes to this sharp accuracy, though, many times we don’t think of the Bible in this way. We lose sight that it is actually the written and recorded words of God. Yes, it was delivered to this world through the quills of many different authors, but it is God’s ultimate revelation of Himself and how we can know Him and live at peace with Him. With God as its supreme author the dictations given to Moses, David, Peter, Paul and the other writers were thought through like no other publication.

One such area that we encounter the thoughtfulness of the Bible is in the comparisons found in the Psalms, Proverbs and New Testament. More and more I am impressed with the thoroughness of the New Testament writers when they help the reader understand the real and practical application of God’s truth. For instance, if you notice in 1 Corinthians 13 there are phrases used as Paul talks about the qualities love contains and the ones it does not. Every phrase includes simple words that are grouped together containing such power.

Take what Paul says in verses four and five when Paul says that love is not arrogant or rude. When someone is arrogant they believe they are better than others. When someone is rude they treat others as if they are better than them. In a matter of a few simple words we are instructed to look at our internal attitude and how it manifests itself externally. Two seemingly small words deliver a tremendous blow to the way we think of ourselves and treat others. They leave us with the need for hours of self-examination.

So here’s the challenge. First, read the Bible. Second, go back and read it very slowly. Sure there are parts that are not are not meant to be dissected word by word because they are narrative or historic genealogy, but the Bible has much more power than we have ever imagined. If you just take those words we mentioned above -- arrogant and rude -- you will see how God will use His word to bring correction and guidance in your life. It’s a lot to think about, but isn’t that the point?

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