Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

Truly Seeing

March 28, 2012 • Category: Proverbs

Today’s scripture: Proverbs 11:22-31 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (John Seksay):

“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
Is a beautiful woman without good sense.”

Really!?! The beginning of this reading comes across as sexist and superficial, like an ancient graffiti tweet by some arrogant rejected suitor. “Oh, she’s pretty enough from a distance, but when she opens her mouth…” As I continue reading, I find myself falling in and out of agreement with the NRSV expression, wondering if the writer was on some Hebraic version of Hannity orColbert on a political commentary show rant!

So I go over to the Message Bible link, read the same verses. I am more impressed. I have a better sense for the theme of the writing. Apparently the translator here had a clear grasp of the spiritual voice of the writer and the words chosen let me follow the deeper meaning more readily. But if the Message translator was able to sense the meaning, why did it escape me? Why did I need more than one interpretation to see more clearly?

My reaction just highlights how I can be prone to jump to quick conclusions on the most superficial of impressions. Since my retirement I now have time to read the morning papers regularly and it’s generally the first thing I do in the morning with breakfast. So I have been starting my day by parsing through the current political muck locally and nationally, snorting under my breath when I disagree and cheering internally when I like the point being made. So I start my day with a polarizing, worldly mindset and then wonder why this reading seems so politically incorrect!

I have heard that “Perception is everything.” I agree, to a point. I would contend that mis-perception is often at the root of lot of what can go wrong in our lives. Our ingrained opinions are perceptions that constantly filter our reality, often emphasizing the aspects of what we expect to be true over objective facts. We see what we want to see far more quickly than what someone else, including Jesus, might see. A rush to judgment can carry me over a cliff! If I wish to have a more peaceful life, maybe I need to see with more than one set of eyes.

NRSV
“Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor
But evil comes to the one who searches for it.”

MESSAGE
“The one who seeks good finds delight;
The student of evil becomes evil.”

Oh, now I get it. Maybe I should be getting a dose of God’s viewpoint before I take on the world today!

Thought for the day: If I am to reap what I sow, maybe I should plant my perceptions for each day more carefully! God, help me amend my sight with your insight!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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