Sunday, March 3, 2013

Life Verse

I'm going to admit something that may shock and nauseate the majority of people reading this blog. I say this to warn you, and prepare you for an explanation. However, it doesn't change the facts. It's my fault, and it's really pretty stupid: I don't like Jeremiah 29:11.

Everybody has their little peculiar vexations. Some of mine: personality tests (except Meyers-Briggs) always drive me nuts. I get inordinately irritated when people don't label their axes on graphs. I hate when songs repeat the word "yeah." I loathe being called "cute" because it feels patronizing (I know it's not, and I'm learning to smile and move on.) Pretty much all of these irritations are irrational, and the amount of aggravation they inflict is disproportional to the weight of the crime ("Don't they realize that this graph is useless without labels? This is meaningless! This person needs to die!").

Most of the time I can laugh and move on. Sometimes, though, I'll recognize that the irritation hints at a deeper character flaw or results in a worse problem than irritation. One of these is related to what I daresay is my only hipsterish tendency (though I'm not criticizing hipsters [here]): a distrust of things that are popular. Yes, this even affects how I feel about popular Bible verses.

Jeremiah 29:11 is stirring, beautiful, inspired scripture. And everybody likes it. This should not be sufficient reason for me to wrinkle my nose when people talk about it (or John 3:16, or Proverbs 3:5-6). There are some popular ones that mean enough to me to counterbalance this, but it doesn't fix everything.

With this ridiculous tendency comes one that's a little more wholesome: an interest in scripture that's not often quoted. I'll be the first to admit I don't memorize as much scripture as I should, but I do love to read it and find things I've never noticed before. I'm ever becoming more convicted that the bits that don't make obvious fodder for evangelism can transform people's lives.

Consider Matthew 10:22. "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved." In church today, our pastor spoke on following Christ, listening, and letting it be transforming in our lives.This means difficulty. This means that verses like Jeremiah 29:11 as well as Matthew 10:22 should be abundantly meaningful.

There are Pollyanna moments, and then there are Ecclesiastes moments. There is reason to cherish and apply every scripture. (And now I've got to make sure I act on my own words.)

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