Nat King Cole - smile.
What I did not know then and know now. Many years ago after accepting Christ and being very excited about new found faith, I was willing to give up everything and study. Everyone was encouraging - my brother and I left home to study at an accredited Bible Institute. Giving up years of our lives solely to this purpose - we did.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show yourself approved.
Upon returning home to the church we left , something strange occurred. We were no longer the young men full of vigor and hope. Now we were learned men of the scriptures - we were a threat to the powers that be. Would we challenge their authority - steal their flock. It never occurred to me they were more comfortable with the ignorance of a child like faith , than that of a learned leader. Had we remained sheep it would have been more acceptable to them.
Acceptable to the group but is ignorance acceptable to God. I pondered this because when Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil- she was asked to leave the garden of Eden, along with Adam who also partook. It had been a question why do we study to show ourselves to be approved of God when in the beginning this knowledge got them in trouble. This question often is asked - is ignorance bliss? What is acceptable to some may not be to others.
I found knowledge is not a curse, ignorance is not bliss. For if we allowed others to dictate to us only because we were not educated - we would never be liberated from the mob. Most people define themselves by the mob which they inhabit. To be truly independent is to have the knowledge to come to your own conclusions. Independent thinkers are not welcome in a dominant society, I for one do not want to be dominated.
If you do not feel like studying a book , study insects or birds. Study yourself , I have done this and actually laughed at myself a lot, not that I am a funny person but why not laugh once in awhile instead of criticizing. Laughter really is good medicine, as long as it is not at someone else expense. When does being a christian become impractical - when we lose inner peace, when we condemn ourselves. When we lose our joy it is time to re-think our position , listen and find it again.
Does knowledge of scripture bring us closer to God , or does faith. I guess you can say scripture is supposed to build our faith, we can also build our faith by prayer and fasting, listening, praising and giving thanks. We can allow God to use us in building faith maybe it might be something simple like being kind. Smile when you do not always feel like it, I had days where it was hard to do just that. It was Nat King Cole that sang that wonderful song smile though your heart is breaking.
A man once said, smile though your heart is breaking.
He sang it in tenor, yes- he was the great Nat King Cole.
If your always down, and wear a frown -your face will pay a toll.
Through all your trials, keep your smiles;
Life may not be full of bliss.
Whatever comes your way my friend remember this.
The face we share, is the one we wear.