Day 16-Learning to Listen

Lately I've been using a NLT bible for my devotions. Some years ago I went through a gospel with a group of gals using a New Living Translation and it was driving me nuts, because so much of what was familiar text seemed to be in a different language. I was constantly going to my New King James Version to compare.  It was a good exercise; it helped me to learn to hear the text in a different way.  When I prepare a teaching for women’s bible study, my favorite starting point is to read the text in multiple translations.  But I've never used anything but an essentially equivalent translation for my daily reading.

Now that I am, I'm finding a fresh enjoyment of familiar passages, and fresh understanding as well. New themes are being made clear, but whether from the different season of life or different translation I can't say.  I would think some of both.  I've already alluded to hearing the book of Ecclesiastes in a different voice this year, lately I was struck by a new slant on the book of 1 Thessalonians.

This book has quite a bit of practical instruction in it. What it also has is a lot of positive affirmation for the Thessalonians.  Several times after penning an instruction, Paul uses the word "already". "You live this way already." "Indeed, you already show your love..." "So encourage each other and build each other up just as you are already doing."

The fact that these believers were already walking and serving well didn't negate the need for reminders and warnings. 

This was a good word for me and maybe for you.  There is never a day or circumstance without the need for learning, to take heed to what we do know and remember that we don't know everything. 

Besides that and some other personal application, I recognized why I'm enjoying this translation so much.  I don't speak another language. Sometimes, when I'm speaking with some who does not speak English as their first language, I find myself having to listen more carefully to what they are saying.  I watch a lot of British television and it happens then, too.  Though the language is mine, the accent makes it sound different. The unfamiliar element in the familiar raises my attentiveness to what is being said. 

If you find yourself skimming over familiar passages or wondering why your time in the Word doesn't seem to be producing any insight or sense of hearing from God, maybe you need to hear it in a new way.  Bet you enjoy it! 


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