What Are You Trying to Say?
“Words, words everywhere, and no good time to think.” My apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge for the modification of his original quotation. In this age of instant communication with social media, and constant re-examination of speeches and conversations electronically recorded, words are “everywhere” thrown at us. We are immersed in sound bites, tweets, Instagram messages, as well as radio, television, and entertainment. Words are omnipresent. Quiet is a very rare commodity. Speech is common.
Words do have meanings that are not always considered. When the clutter of communication becomes so enormous, time to truly consider what has been said is lost. Because we are eager to see and hear the “next thing”, we fail to focus for very long on the present “thing”. Therefore, one’s implications of what has been spoken may well be lost. Before we hear “accurately” what was said, our mind is formulating the response or reaction to what we thought we heard.
Scripture was given to us by God for the purpose of reading, meditating, and applying the truth that a Bible text contains. David would write of “meditating on the law of God.” Moses went “alone” to the top of Sinai twice for 40 days to be alone with God to hear Him. Jesus would spend hours teaching on the shores of the Sea of Galilee the truths of the Kingdom to the multitudes that came to hear. They were not rushing to “get in and get out” to one of His sessions on the sea shore. Rather, they would stay so long that He fed 5000 of them with loaves and fish so they would not grow weak traveling home from the gather.
When we take the time to really study the Word of God, we are enriched in every part of life. In seminary, we were taught to take a Bible text that we were preparing to preach, and study it thoroughly. Then, in the formulation of the sermon, be sure to include “explanation, illustration, and application” of the points within the sermon. I have found that to be a great way to study on my own. As I look to understand the “explanation” of what is being said, I consider how that idea could be illustrated with a story, and then what the application would be to my own life. In doing study that way, I grow in my understanding, appreciation, and pragmatic grasp of truth. And, the exercise allows me to grow “rich” in the things of God which will enhance my treasures in heaven.
The Apostle Paul said it much better than me. Here is a paraphrase of when he said to Timothy.
I choose not to be arrogant nor to put my hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put my hope in God, who richly provides me with everything for my enjoyment. I choose to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. I choose to lay up treasures in heaven that are a firm foundation for the coming age, so that I may take hold of life that is truly life. (Taken from 1 Timothy 6:17-19)