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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

November 13, 2020

"You have need of patience"

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

From time to time there are discussions about why people today do not read the bible anymore, although the Bible can be found in the majority of households. These discussions always lead to a variety of reasons, which are then researched and analyzed and discussed further. Some of the frequently mentioned reasons are that people are intimidated by the various ancient texts, and modern man is simply too busy to read the Bible.

And one reason why the Bible is no longer read is that society has become increasingly impatient. The Bible is not like other books. It requires patience. It is like meeting a fascinating person; it takes time to get to know him or her.

The more impatient modern society has become, the more interpersonal relationships have suffered. Patience is at the core of every great relationship, because it requires patience to listen and to truly understand another person's heart.

And that is why people generally do not know God today. The Bible helps us to know the heart of God and the heart of man. But that takes time. The Bible is not a popular self-help book filled with pithy clich├ęs and step-by-step instructions. It is about getting to know God's heart and our own heart. And that takes time.

There may be another reason why some people do not read the Bible: They know that the Word of God can be life-changing, and the uncomfortable, unspoken and often hidden truth is that some people do not want to change their lives. And some of us have heard that from relatives and friends!

Do we sometimes resemble such people? Let's be honest. Do we always want God to reshape our lives and transform us completely? Do we always want the Bible to act like a double-edged sword in our thoughts and actions, pointing out things we should do differently?

Perhaps our prayers are a reflection of our willingness to see the Word of God as the lamp that illuminates our path. How often do we ask God to help us change and become more like Him? Or do we rather ask Him to change our spouse, our children, our relatives, our neighbors, our boss, etc.?

We should pray like the Psalmist: "Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word" (Psalm 119:17). In order to keep his word, we need to take some time to read it patiently, meditate on it and let it work in us.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.

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