Judy Brandon: Local columnist
Any mother with children has experienced splinter days.
When our children were small, any day could become a splinter day. They might have been in the back yard or on the swing set but suddenly they would come running into the house, complaining about a splinter in a hand.
On one particular time, Buffy had gotten a splinter lodged in one of her fingers. I worked carefully to get it out but with little success. Even with the help of the sunlight, I still couldn’t see the splinter well enough to deal with it.
Then the thought came to me: try the old magnifying glass. I don’t know why we had it, but the magnifying glass had been used many times by the kids to look at “stuff.” I held it over the place on Buffy’s finger, and the same splinter that had been extremely difficult to spot was hugely obvious right before my eyes. I even saw it in its three-dimensional form.
It was amazing that such an obscure object had all of a sudden become clearly visible.
I quickly got the splinter out of Buffy’s finger and she was back to normal in no time. I could not see the small splinter because my unaided eyes were not equipped to see it.
Then when I looked through the magnifying glass, the splinter was so obvious that I could evaluate the situation and make it right once again. I just needed help to assess the real picture.
The same concept can be applied to the Bible. The Bible is sort of a magnifying glass that helps us see ourselves more clearly. The Bible gives us an authentic picture of ourselves.
Through the Bible, God speaks to us in ways that can help us establish perspective on our own lives. When we evaluate our motives, hearts, attitudes, purposes and principles in light of the Bible, we see a genuine likeness of ourselves. When we are familiar with God’s message and personalize it to our lives, we can stand back and claim the principles and promises in the Bible.
Some people read the Bible and don’t apply its relevance.
They read the words, play the religion game but walk away with nothing really changed in their lives.
James wrote about just that. He contended that both believing and acting are essential. The Bible is a guide for us in what to believe, and shows us how repentance and changed behavior should be the result of that belief.
James said: “For if a person just listens and does not obey, then he is like a man looking at his face in a mirror, and as soon as he walks away, he can’t see himself anymore or remember what he looks like” (James 1:22-25).
When Buffy had that splinter her finger, it was not enough just to look at it under the magnifying glass. I had to act upon it and get it out. The gist of matters in our lives may be obscure and bleak. We may not be able to make sense of conditions, consequences and circumstances. But if I allow God to speak to me through his Word, and then take action, my faith is strengthened and I can walk in paths that otherwise would seem dark and uncertain. No doubt that is how the psalmist felt when he wrote: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalms 119:105).
Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College.