14 Remind them of these things and warn them in the sight of God not to engage in battles over words that aren’t helpful and only destroy those who hear them. 15 Make an effort to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker, who doesn’t need to be ashamed but is one who interprets the message of truth correctly.
23 Avoid foolish and thoughtless discussions, since you know that they produce conflicts. 24 God’s slave shouldn’t be argumentative but should be kind toward all people, able to teach, patient, 25 and should correct opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will change their mind and give them a knowledge of the truth.
Paul urged Timothy to value reading and applying the principles of the Bible accurately. As Timothy’s spiritual mentor, Paul urged him to “Present yourself to God as… a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Doing that correctly also involved embodying its principles in the way he taught and shared. “Be kind toward all people” was an important part of teaching effectively.
Read. Lectio Divina means “divine reading” and is a way for you to open up to what God might be saying to you in Scripture. Practicing this can allow you to let go of your own agenda and connect deeper with what God might be saying.
Read today's passage 4 times by following these steps:
Lord of my life, help me to keep growing into a “tried and true worker” for your kingdom. Make me accurate, kind and gentle in sharing what I learn from you. Amen.
The practice of “lectio divina” or “holy reading,” found in this week’s GPS, has been significant in changing my relationship with Scripture. I first encountered this practice 25 years ago and was surprised I hadn’t heard of it before. Until that time, my understanding of Scripture had come mostly through Bible study. That way of relating to the Word focused on information and interpretation. I’m grateful for Bible study, its insights and commitment to knowledge.
Lectio divina, however, pulled me into a different way of living in the Word. Lectio divina is not so much about information as formation, more about being known than knowing. Lectio divina invites me to open up my life and let God speak into it. With each of the 4 steps, I let Scripture read me, allowing a word or phrase to enter like a shaft of light through the surface of my life to illumine something at a deeper level. Sometimes it strikes a chord in me that I didn’t know was there. Sometimes it stirs up in me a desire to follow Jesus more closely.
Lectio divina can be playful, imaginative and dynamic. Through this practice, I’ve learned to be more relaxed and vulnerable with Scripture, because I’m not the one in charge here! Jesus, the Living Word, is the One who addresses me through Scripture, in all its messiness and beauty.
Give it try. Experiment with this ancient Christian practice. Use the passage in today’s GPS, a psalm or favorite passage of your own. See what happens. Let the Word read you.
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