This community was started on the premise that we, as women, have a tendency to be “Martha’s” (based on Luke 10:38-42). We just might lean toward being a little set in our ways and doing a bit of over organizing…not that those are bad things. But I am suggesting that sometimes…we need to think outside the box, be a bit more relaxed and just go with the flow.
It really is okay if the table isn’t sit like you normally do it, or the towels are folded in halves instead of thirds. But I have to also be honest…as a true “Martha”….when someone else does the laundry or works in my kitchen, I have a tendency to re-do what has been done after they leave.
I have this thought that my way is better; the way I’ve always done it is the best method. I mean, for generations the towels have been folded into thirds…not halves.
Of course, the closets were rather small way back then, a lot smaller than the ones I have now. Maybe, just maybe, the reason they folded the towels into thirds was because that was the only way they would fit into the cabinet. Now that I have these huge cabinets, it really is okay just to fold the towels in half…there’s plenty of room. Yea…then why do I keep folding them into thirds?
Because that was the way I was taught, the way I’ve always done it. Not wrong, but maybe not necessary now, or not in relation to where I’m at now.
In my lifetime I’ve sat in a few hundred church business meetings growing up as a deacon’s daughter. I’ve actually heard people say “well, we’ve never done it like that before” in response to a proposal to try something new within the church’s ministry. I’ve watched good ideas go unsupported simply because church members weren’t willing to try something new, something different. So the church continued on, doing what they always did, always getting the same result.
Recently, during my Bible study, I skimmed a passage simply because I had heard it preached lots of times and I had read it before…I didn’t think I could get anything new out of truly studying it again. As I read it, I found myself repeating all the things I had been taught before. But God started speaking to my heart and leading me to experience the passage in a completely different way, relating it to where I am today. Suddenly I was interpreting this Scripture differently than almost all the commentaries I studied and any preaching I had heard on it.
That scared me because I’m not a Bible scholar; I’m not smart like those guys. I haven’t been to seminary or had any formal training in biblical theology. So how they interpreted the Scripture must be the only way to interpret it. Right? I mean…it’s how I’ve always interpreted the Scripture in the past…the way some else told me to.
And I’ve always gotten the same result…not understanding it (in this particular case).
So this time I allowed God to speak to my heart as I truly dug into the Scripture and I let Him tell me how He wanted me to interpret this Scripture. I’ll be honest, it’s been hard to unthink what I’ve always thought, to think outside the box, to see a new way…to support that new way.
So you are probably wondering what Scripture it was and if you read my personal blog, HolyCamp, you might have some idea. It’s Job 2:9 regarding the response to Job’s wife to all their trails.
His wife said to him, “Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!” (HCSB Job 2:9)
You’ve probably heard or read the same teachings on Job’s wife that I have…she encouraged Job to do exactly what Satan said he would do, she was bitter, she was foolish, she was another form of a curse upon Job simply because when he had lost all – he was left with her. You’ve heard these, right? Me too and I have said most of them based on past teachings.
Then I read Job with an open heart and mind, dare I say…a woman’s heart & mind. I tried to figure out who Job’s wife was based on what little information we are given. I made a case for her not being a foolish woman, but being a woman of high moral beliefs based on her husband’s character. I backed up that thought process with Scripture and with God’s own description of Job. I saw that while it was Job that Satan attacked…it was also his wife who suffered.
My line of thinking doesn’t mesh with what others think, they probably think I’m wrong. But God has not let me leave this passage until I fully grasped what was going on, until I could fully comprehend, sympathize and understand Job’s wife…the words she spoke and the words spoken to her.
I’ve had to let go of the “it’s never been taught like that before” attitude. I’ve had to embrace the fact that God speaks to each person individually, uniquely through the Scriptures. I’ve had to accept that commentaries and the notes in study bibles are not the same as the God-breathed Words of the Bible. Those are just well educated, opinions of men (mostly men…we do have some women now writing for commentaries).
More importantly, I’ve had to realize that maybe the old ways aren’t always the best ways…even when it comes to interpreting Scriptures.
The result….I’ve walked away different, better, stronger than ever before and isn’t that what Bible study is about?
Don’t be afraid if God speaks to you differently through the Scriptures than He does others. But let me also offer a word of caution….be able to back up this interpretation with Scripture…not just a gut feeling. You’ll note that I said “almost all the commentaries” followed a different line of thinking for this particular verse. There were some that also leaned toward my thought process, so it wasn’t a totally new idea, just not as widely accepted.
I challenge you…fold the towels in halves…it really will be okay!