What we do/n't observe
How observant are you? Some people I know have exclaimed many times they are keen on observations that they encounter in people, trends, and perhaps what God is revealing to them. Sometimes, these are modest claims or attempts to over stretch the truth.
"When we know the setting, we discover the meaning."
In this #weekendwrapup, I had the chance to teach in the practice in studying the Bible in terms of how we use observations in our study to help us bring a deeper understanding to the biblical text.
One key quality in our reading the word of God as well as having a clue to what another person in the room is going through is knowing the context. We may read a verse out of context and walk away missing the point or in error to how we apply it. This is the same for how we encounter others, if someone leaves the room with a very quick goodbye and no eye contact, I can take them as if they are upset with me. When in really it is the message they received on their phone that has them distracted and worried. If we are easily offended we usually live life out of context.
What I would hope any of us would grow in a desire for is the ability to know the setting of every verse we read. Is it a prophetic word in the Old Testament? A letter from Peter who has the experience and is addressing a concern to his audience? It takes a bit of additional study to gain a larger worldview than just the words we are reading and trying to apply modern moments into ancient circumstances. The truth, wisdom, and qualities of God are still evident and relevant, but the setting as to why they are accentuated are important to understand.
So, how observant are you when you do a study? Do you have a resource to help you discern? I shared that www.blueletterbible.org is a great place to start the deeper observation. Allow your attention to open up to the principles we arrive at that when we know the setting, we discover the meaning. This is applied to our attention with one another in our relationships. I am amazed that in a community, like our church or our town, we can miss one another over and over again. We miss the details where life, opportunity, and how we can be serving one another present themselves.
It is my hope that as you read the Word of God and as you are a person of God, you grow in your attention and observation so that you grow into four key character marks:
1) Know the heart of God
2) Granted Repentance
3) Lead to Knowledge
4) Escape the traps of the Enemy
(Drawn from 2 Timothy 2)
If our attention and willingness to know "who, what, when, where, and why" in both life and in Scripture widens, then we will be amazed at what we see and aware of how much we have missed all along.
Keep Looking Up!