Sunday, June 5, 2016

Perfection not required

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Sometimes you stumble across something on the 'net that truly generates an 'aha!' moment.

Whilst waiting for a late load of laundry to come out of the dryer last night, I followed a link from Facebook.

It was posted back in April by Dr. Pamela Ovwigho; an interesting bit of research she titled 'The Power of 4" (click that link for the article).

Basically, she found that
The life of someone who engages scripture four or more times a week looks radically different from the life of someone who does not. In fact, the lives of Christians who do not engage the Bible most days of the week are statistically the same as the lives of non-Christians. 

The article goes on to list a number of statistics of just how much engaging in the Scripture at least 4 times a week changes behavior.  But what jumped out at me was her statement that the lives of Christians who do not engage the Bible most days of the week are statistically the same as the lives of non-Christians.   

That would be...the same percentage of divorces.  The same rate of pornography addiction. The same...the same...the same... as non-Christians. 

And it wasn't dependent upon what church was attended, or how often, or whether or not they claimed to be spirit-filled, or how much time they spent in prayer...not even how much time they spent studying the Bible. She was looking solely at how often they engaged the Bible. 

She published another post a week or so later, detailing just what she meant by 'engaging the Bible' ...and it is surprisingly basic.

Receiving the words of the Bible through reading or listening
Reflecting on the meaning of those words
Responding to them in your own life

Receive - reflect - respond.   

You don't have to spend hours with  a Zodhiates text to engage with the fact, you could spend hours with a Zodhiates text and not engage with what you're reading at all.  It's not about time.

It's about, well, paying attention.

And those who do that a minimum of 4 times a week...have statistically significant differences in their lives from those who don't.

Many, many years ago, I took a group of kids to a major youth crusade event.  In the course of the teaching, the kids were encouraged to sign a personal statement of intent to have a daily quiet time.  Just for their own commitment...not to be turned in or necessarily shared with anyone. In our discussion of the event at our next group meeting, most of the kids stated something to the effect of  'I knew I couldn't keep it up, so I didn't sign it.'

They knew they wouldn't be perfect, so why try?

But the study shows...perfection is not required.   

Most of us go to church twice a week; if the service actually engages the attendees in the Word,  that means doing personal study only twice a week.  Two days out of 7.    That's kinda like batting .286.

Not a huge, difficult commitment...but one that is statistically proven to change lives.

Three 'R's' , four times a week.  

It will make a difference.

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