Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The reason I read the Bible.

The reason I read the bible is pretty simple. For me, it gives God words. I feel like the more I read, the more source material God can pull from. Not that he needs the bible to speak to me, but I need the bible to understand him.

For instance, on its own, if God told me, “don’t count your men,” I wouldn’t know what that meant. That statement, removed from Biblical context, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But because I read 2 Samuel 24, I have an idea of what he’s talking about and it’s an oddly appropriate story.

In that chapter, David counts his fighting men as a way to reassure himself. He wants to feel strong and powerful and so he numbers how many fighting men he has. It’s a big production, with God and even satan coming into the picture when a number counting incident is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 21. The lesson though is pretty clear, trust God, not your numbers.

What are your numbers? My numbers are the web traffic from these blogs. That’s really silly considering how small they are, but there it is. I am like a gambler pulling a slot machine handle when I sit at my computer and hit refresh over and over again on my Google analytics tool. I don’t know why I do it so often. Maybe it makes me feel successful knowing X amount of people are reading my stuff from XX amount of countries around the world.

But it’s similar to David counting his men. Ultimately, it’s not about traffic or conversion or hits or unique visitors. It’s about being a faithful steward of my talents. So starting today, I’m going to check my traffic once a week. Nothing more, nothing less.

How about you? Is there a bank account you count often? Do you manically look for new emails or count the number of friends you have on Facebook?

Is there an area of your life you need to quit counting and start trusting God in?

4 comments:

JJ said...

I check my bank account to see how much money is left. Is that the same thing?

Great decision about the traffic checking.

robyn collins said...

interestingly, i count volunteers. i count how few people want to give up two hours on wednesdays to teach the bible to preschoolers. I count them, and then I'm mad at "their" unwillingness to teach and sacrifice their time. I'm counting the "failings" of others - blech! that's gross, and the opposite of worshipping God through my actions... that disgusts me with myself... thanks for the seive.

Ryan said...

I count how many church leaders don't show up the the monthly prayer meeting that we were all told we need to attend. Then I get angry and am obviously not much use to God or myself or my church during the prayer meeting. Finally I decided it was better to not attend until I could get that issue worked out in my heart.

Robin Sam said...

I used to do the same with my blog until sometime ago, when I realised the futility of it all and gave up. The Bible said it years ago through King Solomon said: "Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun." (Eccl.4:7)