Words of Worth

“Straighten up!”

October 4, 2013

images-1In less than four months, I will be the mother of a teenager.  That can only mean one thing – Braces!   At this point, my daughter has teeth where there should be gaps and gaps where there should be teeth.   Some teeth have decided to lodge in the wrong place entirely and some of them just didn’t even bother to show up!   Not only will there be an orthodontist in her future but an oral surgeon as well.   We will start down the long arduous and hopefully not too painful orthodontic road next week.

The teeth straightening road is much like any other journey – taken one step at a time.

There are many examples in Scripture that liken our Christian lives to a journey.   The Psalmist prays for God to lead him along the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23).  In Isaiah 35:8, we read about a highway that will be called the way of holiness.  The Apostle Paul urges us in 2 Timothy to stay the course.  But a definition I read recently from Galatians 2:14 really helped me understand our Christian walk in a new way.

The first part of the verse reads, “But when I saw their conduct was not in step with the Gospel…”  Paul was concerned about Peter and Barnabas being led astray by hypocrisy.  Literally, Paul is saying that Peter was not “ortho-walking with the gospel.”   To quote Tim Keller:  “Christian living is a continual realignment process – one of bringing everything in line with the truth of the gospel.”

In other words, we need braces on our lives to help us “ortho-walk” the right way.

Now, I could end right here.  It would be good.  I’ve given you a good visual, you might think about this blog when you pass an orthodontist office as you are out running errands.  And if that’s all you want, stop here.

For those of you who want the “how-to”, it will be as painful as having your teeth in metal brackets.  The only way to “ortho-walk”, I believe, is to MEMORIZE scripture.  Yes, memorize – not just read it, not just study it, not know it well enough to be able to find it without an app on your smart phone, but commit it to memory.

How do I know?  Because I have recently begun memorizing a book of the Bible.  Maybe I was a little ambitious for my first (since childhood) memory work but I can attest to the fact that I am walking straighter now with the verses lodged in my heart and mind.   It’s been incredible how many situations I’ve faced and my memory work immediately gave me the direction I needed.   Memorizing the entire book keeps the teaching in context and my steps straight.  Convicting?  Yes, indeed, my attitude needed straightening.  Comforting?  You bet, God has straightened some of the rough places in a gentle way.   Easy to do?  Not at all.  This has been one of the most difficult spiritual disciplines I’ve ever attempted but it has also been the most beneficial.

If your Christian walk needs a re-alignment, I suggest you start memorizing.  It’s the best (and only, in my opinion) to bring your everyday life in line with the gospel.  I daresay it will even keep you on the “straight” and narrow.   (ct)

Note:  there are numerous helpful resources on memorizing Scripture.  The method I am using is pretty “straight”forward (ha!) and simple.  One new verse everyday while reviewing the previous verses.  I coordinate with the day of the month.  For example, if I were working on the third chapter of James, my memory verse today would  be James 3:4.  Since there are only 18 verses in Chapter 3, I have all the extra days at the end of the month to make sure I have it completely memorized.  Those extra days are good for “grace and mercy”, too!

How do you memorize the Word??   Let us know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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