One of the barriers, I think, that prevents people from getting into a daily Bible reading habit is that they don’t understand what they are reading. And since they don’t understand they don’t benefit from it. And not benefitting from it they stop doing it entirely. This is unfortunate because I think it can be avoided completely. This post will discuss some ways to break down this barrier.
“Rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2.15) is a common phrase and exhortation in Christianity. It is often directed towards ministers or pastors as a way of telling them to be sure that they are teaching things that are true. While these things are important there is more to “rightly dividing the word of truth” than intellectual or scholarly acumen.
Jesus’ statement that if anyone looks at a woman “lustfully” then he has already committed adultery with her in his heart is perhaps one of the more difficult teachings in the Bible. It is not just difficult to fulfill, it is also somewhat difficult to even understand in the first place. What constitutes looking lustfully at someone?
When we look back on past events we tend to remember mostly the good things and leave out the bad things. Without both the good and the bad we have an inaccurate memory of the past, and this inaccuracy can lead us to make mistakes in the present or in the future.
A perennial struggle in Christianity is the struggle between preserving the old and adapting to the new. On the one hand we have a faith that we must preserve and hand on to future generations, but on the other new discoveries and advances are constantly being made, especially in the areas of science and technology. How much of the old do we change or reformulate in light of the new? One of the fields that has been part of this debate is psychology.
Simply stated, spiritual gifts are “gifts” that the Holy Spirit gives to Christians for the building up, strengthening, and maintaining of the Church. For most Christians their conception is formed by various passages in the letters of the Apostle Paul (mainly 1 Corinthians 12.8-10, 28; Romans 12.6-8, and Ephesians 4.11), but the concept is actually much larger than these passages. In fact, we can even find examples of spiritual gifts in the Old Testament.
For most of us when we think of love we primarily envision a romantic sort of love where it merges with lust and/or sexual attraction. When love is conceived of in this manner it leads us to think that it is something that just happens, and if it happens then it is true love and it will last forever. This is the version that the company known as The One in the Netflix series “The One” is selling to consumers.
One of the more difficult things in life, I think, is learning when to stick something out and learning when to walk away from something. Sometimes the choice is obvious. Sometimes it is not. When the decision is about whether or not leave a local church the decision can be even more difficult. The local church is not an impersonal entity, like a stock that you can buy or sell shares of based on what you think the market will do.