The past is a place of reference, not a place of residency.
- Willie Jolley
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
I am very proud of my daughters, Abby and Ally. Both are beautiful, bright, amazing young women, and I am honored to be their mama.
Of course, like the rest of us, they occasionally have a not-so-bright moment that forever becomes part of “the Adams Family Funny Stories File” that we often open and share–all in teasing, of course. One of those moments happened last week when the girls and I had a mom-daughter outing in Hollywood.
It had been a long week of moving Ally into her new apartment and we were tired, really tired. So we decided to go out to dinner, away from the moving boxes and clutter. After enjoying good food and company, we headed back to the parking garage, ready to call it a night. Abby pushed the button as we awaited the elevator when all of sudden Ally let out a dramatic sigh of frustration.
“Oh wait, we can’t use these elevators,” Ally said, motioning to a sign near the elevator.
Too tired to challenge her, both Abby and I followed her around the corner to yet another set of elevators.
“Oh, my gosh,” Ally said, visibly upset. “We can’t use these elevators either! They’re also reserved for firefighters.”
Abby looked at me. I looked at Abby. We both looked at the sign, and then we glared at Ally to see if she was being serious.
True, she is my blond child, but certainly not “a dumb blonde.” (I am the queen of “dumb blonde” moments in our household, which made this incident even more hilarious.)
“Ally, the sign doesn’t say the elevators are reserved for firefighters,” Abby explained through giggles. “It says not to use the elevators in case of a fire!”
With that, Ally took a longer look at the sign featuring a little red flame, actually read it instead of skimming it this time, and said, “Oh. Good to know.”
The lesson here? You have to take time to read signs, maps, syllabi, directions, recipes instead of just assuming you know what they say, or you might go through life climbing many flights of stairs when you could be taking the elevator.
Ally’s blond moment got me thinking about how often we do this with the most important information: the Word of God. I wonder how many Christians just assume they know what the Bible says instead of actually taking time to read the scriptures, thus making wrong assumptions and going the wrong direction based on misinformation. How often have I neglected the Bible simply because I think I “know” what it says when I really just need to slow down, open the Word and meditate on those precious promises? How many times have you done the same?
The Word of God is often referred to as spiritual food, meaning we need to eat of it every single day. Just like our physical bodies need daily nourishment to be strengthened and function at optimum capacity, so does our spirit. You can’t live on yesterday’s manna. You need a fresh word from God every single day, which is why you must partake of God’s Word daily.
You can’t just assume you know what the Bible says and simply skim it, hitting “the highlights.” That kind of approach leads to pulling out partial truths and jumping to incorrect conclusions. Trust me, the consequences will be much worse than climbing several flights of stairs when you could’ve been riding the elevator.
To get in the habit of reading God’s Word every day, find a good devotional and read it to start your day, during your lunch hour or right before you go to bed. It’s also beneficial to get a plan for reading through the Bible in a year. We all need to make time for God’s Word because he has important messages, promises and wisdom awaiting us.
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, with more than 60 books and 1,000 articles for newspapers and magazines to her name. She was won several SELAH Awards (best children’s book and book of the year for God Knows You in 2014 and best children’s book for My Big Book of Prayers in 2012), and her book Divine Stories of the Yahweh Sisterhood was named a Family Christian Bookstores Premiere Pick in 2006. When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers.
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff. They have two college-aged daughters, Abby and Allyson, as well as a small petting zoo. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys cheering on the Indiana University Men’s Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies and the LA Kings. Find out more about Michelle at her website.