week in review (and some hoho love too!)
The week also ended up being a small spiritual retreat for me and I took that time to step away from social media. This job of mine involves being steeped in social media and very often it is a double edged sword. I have met so many wonderful people, many of whom have become very good friends but at the same time I've also been exposed to less than lovely people and sometimes that just saturates me.
It's a strange sort of job and often hard to describe to others. But just think, in your normal life you are surrounded by people you know and know you, love you and like you and the critics are generally few and far between and come in love. When part of your job involves social media, you have all of that PLUS thousands of people who think they know you and sometimes love you and often feel free criticize you. Some days you just feel picked on. It's just part of the job. I'm not trying to whine about it, just describe it.
My word for the year is "confidence". It sounded like a good word to focus on but I am learning that it's pretty much in the same category as patience. You pray that God will just slather you with confidence but instead He gives you opportunities to grow it instead. This year so far He's been teaching me why I believe what I believe and instead of dumping confidence on me He is giving me a firm foundation to stand on, which in the end build confidence from the inside out and doesn't just give me something that will slide off in the rain.
For example, this year I am reading The Message translation of the bible. Purely to gain a new perspective and glean something new from God's word. Who knew that would open me up to an endless stream of critics? I didn't, that's for sure. When I started reading the bible on my ipad each morning (using "the bible app) I also felt like I was supposed to share the verse of the day via my Instragram feed (littlebitfunky). I've done this for some time now and the fruit from those posts alone has both thrilled and humbled me. I've also read the bible several times now in several translations. Each, I've learned offers something new to the heart and ear.
But this year, when I chose to read "The Message" translation and share those verses in that translation...man oh man. Weekly, I get emails telling me of the sin I am committing. Everything from accusing me of changing God's word (quoting a verse in Revelation that has nothing to do with the Bible) to feeling sorry for me for not knowing better than to only read King James. It's been amazingly eye opening.
My heart is this: Jesus is amazing. He offers such an incredible gift to every single person willing to receive it that I am willing to do just about anything to share that gift in a way that someone individually can hear it. The Message translation was created to share God's word in a way that is relate-able to the everyday person. No flowery language or evasive vocabulary. Just an amazing message available in language that we use. The authors intent was not to change God's word or alter it, but to draw people in. I share the verses in confidence and hope that someone will read them and consider. Consider looking at the bible in a new way or at God in a new way. To know that He is approachable and loves them. The translation of the Bible you choose to read is not a salvation issue. If we accept the sacrifice of Jesus and then add arbitrary rules that we have to follow, it's like saying that Jesus alone is not enough to save us, that we need to help in some way to push our salvation over the edge.
Thankfully, I am confident that my choice of translation is not endangering my salvation. But consider the new believer? Choosing to hen peck them in their new and growing stage could do irreparable damage. If you offer them salvation and then present them with a series of "yeah, buts" (yeah....you're saved BUT you have to read this translation to be really saved) how appealing and steadfast are you making Christ appear? I'm not saying that "all is permissible", I am just praying that we will all consider not insisting that our preferences are the only way to know God. Putting God in a box never ends well, it only limits the gift we've been given.
This is just a little sliver of the well intended concerns I get in a week.
So anyway, coming back from that rabbit trail, this past week was a nice deep breath. Stepping away for a bit allowed for layers to fade away like dust being blown by the breeze. My thinking cleared a bit, my heart refueled and my focus renewed. God confirmed my job security and path and that is always a good thing!
That's it for now! Thanks for reading and following me down a few rabbit trails this morning!
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