For 2012, I have mixed up my Bible reading routine. Crazy, I know! Everyone has a favored translation of the Bible and for me I’m a solid fan of the NIV. Going to Bible college, I heard many a debate on which translation was the best. Translations fall all along the scale from extremely literal to more modern day language. At Multnomah, it was accepted that the NIV fell in the middle between literal and modern. I was used to the NLT being the top choice at my church and I was surprised to find that it wasn’t a favorite at my school. My first Bible that I used for personal use the NIV so it felt a bit like going home when I settled back into using my NIV as my Bible for both study and devotions. Ever since then I’ve been hooked on the NIV. However, this year I’m changing the translation… in fact, I’m not even using a translation. I’m using The Message which is technically a paraphrase. Bible college peeps really don’t like you calling The Message a translation… oh, those were the good ol’ days! So many details mattered back then!
I’ve been reading from The Message as a way to get a new perspective. Sometimes reading the same thing over and over can cause my heart to become numb. I’m no longer absorbing, I’m just reading what I always read just like I’ve always done. I find that things really jump out at me when I can switch to a new version of the Bible for a while. I was reading in Matthew 23 and a verse that I highlighted many years ago, jumped out at my yet again. I thought I would share it with you.
Matthew 23:11-12 “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.”
I may be 26, but I still feel like a newbie to adult life and to ministry. A lot of times, I feel inexperienced and I feel the need to make myself appear more confident then I really am. When I put on this confident mask, I’m hiding the fact that I really don’t know what I’m doing… I don’t want to puff myself and make myself appear like something I’m not. I’m reminded by this verse that if I’m truly okay with just being me then my life will make a difference. More than anything, I want my life to count for something. I want to give my all to be an influence for good in this world. I’m not some deep scholars, I’m not some gifted speaker, I’m not really that impressive in anything… not trying to be self-deprecating, but really I’m not much. I can see how inadequate I really am in light of all I feel I need to be. I’m still searching for the balance of contentment in myself while striving to keep growing and changing into a better person. I am constantly reminded by my loving, heavenly Father that it’s not about who I think I should be. It’s all about who He made me to be.