How Do You Read It?


Dave and I love watching each of our grandchildren learn to read. The older three now point out words and take joy in being able to read us signs, menus and books. 

What begins as sounds of individual letters morphs into blends. From there, children develop word attack skills, usually accompanied by a few hiccups, such as, “Why isn’t why just spelled Y?” I hear Taylor Faith laughing over that as she’s now reading this book by Lauren Child.
At times, even as adults, we need help to comprehend what we read. 

In a prelude to the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), a lawyer tries to trick Jesus. The Lord’s response? “How do you read it?” From the rest of the parable, we learn that merely reading the Law (and setting a trap for Jesus), misses the intent of the parable completely.

Perhaps because this is the season of Lent, a time when many try to practice self denial in various ways, I pause to consider how I approach reading the Scriptures. I think of Jesus’ words: “How do you read it?” Although I don’t bring the lawyer’s malicious intent to the table, I look at my possible motivations for daily devotions:

Do I come out of duty? To check devotions off my daily ‘to do’ list? To win an argument? To prove my knowledge of verses?

Convicted of the not-so-hidden agendas that can muddy my time with the Lord, I backtrack to rethink my approach to reading and studying.

Did I ask the Holy Spirit to lead me into Truth?

Did I confess my agenda(s) and sin(s), and then rejoice that there is no condemnation for those in Christ? (Romans 8:1)

If I do these things, I find I read EXPECTANTLY, and not just HABITUALLY. I then read with an eye to true repentance that will lead to changed behavior, and I find myself praying for grace to walk in more authentic faith.

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