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  

It’s Not Just About Time

Set your clocks back 1 hour before you go to bed Saturday night. While you’re at it ask yourself if you need to repent of some selfishness in regard to punctuality. If you’re in the habit of being late, make the following promises to yourself. The person who is habitually late has allowed at least one of these character flaws to hang around in their life for way too long: negligence, arrogance, ignorance. It’s time to show them the door. In fact, it’s past time.

Make up your mind right now that you will repent of the selfishness of being habitually late by making and keeping these three commitments:

  • I will not be negligent. I will get ready first and relax second.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

James 4:17 17So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

  • I will not be arrogant. I will consider others more important than myself.

Philippians 2:3–4 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

  • I will not be ignorant. I will make sure I know how long it takes me to get ready. I will make sure I know the correct time and location of the appointment and know how long it takes me to get there.

Ephesians 5:15–16 (NLT)

15So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.

Brad Fry

Published in: on October 30, 2013 at 3:55 pm  Comments (2)  
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