I love this thought from Mark Batterson:
There are three ways to translate the Bible. You can translate it with:
1 – Your Mind
2 – Your Heart
3 – Your Life
I think a lot of us settle for the mental translation.
But the end result is information. And what happens is this: we learn more, do less, and think we’re growing spiritually. But not if that’s the only translation.
The second translation is emotional. And the emotional translation may seem more subjective than intellectual translation. But that is when our hearts break for the things that break the heart of God. It’s not just information. It’s transformation. For the record, I think one person with one deeply held conviction will make more of a difference than someone with a hundred good ideas.
Finally, there is the life translation. That is when we become a “living epistle.” That is when the noun turns into a verb. And that is how we change the world. At the end of the day, Jesus isn’t going to say, “Well thought good and faithful servant.” He’s going to say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Imagine a church filled with people who are translating the Bible with their lives!
“There is a time in every man’s education that he arrives at the conviction that imitation is suicide. He must take himself for better or for worse.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
I think there are two simple principles that ought to guide us:
1 – Keep learning
2 – Be yourself
It’s easier to stop learning and begin copying. You are an original! Be yourself and create the future.
Aesthetics are important. Why else would a dozen chapters in Exodus be devoted to the aesthetics of the Tabernacle including the color of the curtains and the exact recipe for the incense? Pay attention to the aesthetics of your workplace and home.
How you handle criticism will make you or break you. You need tough skin and a soft heart. If you’re insecure your defense mechanisms will get the best of you. So instead of leading out of imagination you’ll lead out of insecurity.
In the book 4-Hour Work Week author Timothy Ferriss tells an interesting story about challenging some Princeton students to a competition:
The first person to contact a seemingly impossible person to reach (Bill Clinton, JLo, JD Salinger, etc.) and ask them three questions would win a trip to anywhere in the world.
Out of a whole class of students, NONE of them accepted his challenge. Many thought the challenge was impossible, but the most common excuse was comparison. They thought the other students would certainly get there first. They didn’t think there was any point in trying.
Such a great lesson on the barrier of comparison. How many times have we been stopped in our tracks because we thought someone else could write a better book than we can… or plant a better church… or do a better job than we can?
I think most of us walk the line between passion and peacefulness. We play it safe because we fear failure and criticism.
I think most of us wake up every day with the goal of not looking bad or bringing undesirable attention to ourselves.
But if you want to make an impact it will come along with personal unrest.
No joke, the church is people, not a place.
I love Kara Powell’s updated version of “This is the church, this is the steeple”
This is the church building
This is the steeple
Open the doors
And see the church, which is people.