“Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”
-Proverbs 3:6 (MSG)
Good afternoon Beloved,
Recently, I saw this cartoon of two people facing each other. In between them was a number on the ground and in speech bubbles they were both expressing their truth. One of them saw a “six” and the other saw a “nine.” Now, the caption underneath was something along the lines of “just because you are right does not mean I am wrong” and I received a little laugh from this common sense truth. But then the reality of the moment set in. The reality of the cartoon faces which were grimacing in anger. The reality of our world which seems to be yelling their truths without listening to other perspectives. And it all became very real for me.
It became a reflection of so many of our conflicts throughout history. A reflection of all the times that people have been arguing over the same point, yet unable to witness the perception of the other.
“In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.”
– Proverbs 3:6 (NRSV)
And this cartoon argument was only about a number, what if it was about something important. Or more to the point, something important to you or me, like the Bible. What if the words in the text were either the inerrant word of God or a group of stories written by some ancient authors? Would the argument become more real, visceral, dangerous? Would the two cartoons start fighting to prove their perspective was right?
Sadly, we do not have to imagine the answer as this reality has happened many times. It is what has caused division after division in the church. People witness the truth of God as they see it and are so sure they are right that proving this truth seems worthy of fighting and sometimes killing over.
“Become intimate with him in whatever you do,
and he will lead you wherever you go.”
– Proverbs 3:6 (TPT)
This passion over our truth being right though does not mean another must be wrong. To explain, I have enclosed three different translations of the same Bible verse. Three different ways to interpret God’s word with a bit of time in-between so you could read them freely. Are any of these interpretations wrong? I do not believe so for they each reveal a glimmer of God’s voice – a smidge of truth – a bit of the whole just like each of us individually only reflect a bit – a smidge – a glimmer of God. To fully hear the voice of God we have to both speak and listen to one another. Just like if we were going to fully understand this proverb, we would need to hear all the ways it is translated to understand the fullness of what God is saying through our scripture.
Therefore, I pray you will take the time every day to both speak your truth for without it, we cannot hear that part of God in you; and, listen to the truth of others for without it, we cannot hear that part of God in them. Beloved, these are the tools of healing created when we love one another. Tools which begin with our lips and ears.
May your week be blessed by all the love God has to offer to everyone.
Your pastor, Brian
As always please call (207-350-9561) if you need anything. Next week, my pastoral care hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8:00– 4:00; Tuesday 10:30 – 6:30. I may be writing from home on Friday but may be at church. If I am in the office, please feel free to stop in to talk. Many blessings and Love to you all, always.