Reading & Thinking

The seventeenth century philosopher, John Locke wrote, “Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”

Perhaps the reason some people get very little out of reading is that is all they are doing—just reading without thinking, processing and applying. Many have complained, “I can’t read the Bible for very long.” Some say, “I can’t understand the Bible”. Maybe they could if they took the time and thought through what they were reading.

Paul wrote, “When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, (Ephesians 3:4), But, to be sure, the man who reads glibly or who surrounds himself by distractions, will not perceive Paul’s insight. He is making no real effort to perceive.

The eunuch from Ethiopia was “reading the prophet Isaiah” (Acts 8:30), but needed help to understand what he was reading. That’s normal because some writings, like some of Paul’s, are “hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16). So when you’ve hit a wall, even after you’ve struggled with the text on your own for a while, get some help if you’re still unclear as to what the text means and/or how it applies. But wrestle with it on your own before you tap out and tag a partner.

Prayerfully reading, thinking and ruminating are intellectual and spiritual pleasures. But the sluggard will think them too hard.

Do yourself a favor and accept God’s invitation to think. “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) Sounds like a pretty good payoff, don’t you think?
Brad Fry

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Published in: on November 30, 2016 at 2:45 pm  Leave a Comment