Thursday, September 12, 2013

Where God's Love Leads...Looking at 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (part 3)

A Monday post on Thursday - finally getting a little caught up on the series here {smiling}...

We've been looking at the idea of leading to repentance and love, and how this leading is an act of true grace...

Today we will look at the idea of "correction" as stated in 2 Timothy 3:16 (NASB): 

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for

In the margin of my Bible, I have this note written (from my days studying counseling at Bible College): 
"Correction = a changing activity.  The same word as for setting a broken bone (healing injury)"
In every common Bible translation, the Greek word  ἐπανόρθωσις is rendered "correction" or "to correct" or "correcting".  Only one, Young's Literal Translation, uses a different phrase, and that is "for setting aright".  The short definition in Strong's concordance is: correction, reformation, setting straight (right) again.

It is easier to see this as a gentle action when looking at this word alone, isolating it from the sequence of words in the verse.  When I read it directly after the word "reproof" - and even if I know the real meaning of it - the feeling of chastisement is immediate!  I totally block out the "profitable" adjective, and the truth that teaching and being taught is an incredibly fun activity!  

And when I remember that "reproof" is really "shedding an x-ray beam of light" into my soul, and "correction" is a repairing or a reforming of someplace that has been injured,  I welcome this work of the Word!  (Even if it is a little painful for a brief moment of time...)

I love that thought of "setting right again"!  Sometimes old tapes start playing in my head, and I need to "be set right again".  Maybe another person has spoken unkindly to me, and I need a little "setting right again".  Perhaps my husband hasn't met my personal expectation, and I need a little "setting straight".  Or life is pressing in, bearing down on me and that pushes me out of that place of abiding and I need a course correction. 

God's love and devotion to us are what sends the adjustments we need our way...I am betting that you can remember times when a friend has shared a verse that perfectly lifted your spirits up, maybe even not knowing that you needed it!  Or of times when you turned on the radio or TV and heard just the perfect teaching; or a snippet of song; or a testimony - and God used it to encourage you and get you back on track with Him.  Or you were reading along in a familiar passage of Scripture, and all of a sudden a verse or phrase "leaps off the page" to speak to you in a way you never considered before - addressing the very heart issue that you most needed help with at that moment.  These "course corrections" are as necessary as the little adjustments we constantly make as we drive, to keep our vehicle heading in the right direction and on the proper side of the road.  

Occasionally, the reformation needed, or the setting straight of a broken place, requires the help of a skilled surgeon.    Just as it is almost impossible to set our own bones, so it is that sometimes we need another person to "set straight" the broken places of our souls.  These are the times when we could enlist the service of someone who is more experienced in the ways of the Lord to help us sort out what we need.

But what happens if we find ourselves totally lost, having made some wrong turns and maybe even using an old map (old choices, old habits)?  Well, even then we are not lost to God's love; and that situation is what we will look at next...

Till next time, abundant blessings to you...