The other day I was asked by a well-meaning Christian, ‘What’s your favourite verse?’ Church-going people often have a ‘favourite verse’ or a favourite Bible story.
I get that. A thought or story has been meaningful at significant times in their lives; they return there for comfort, encouragement or instruction. They might say, ‘God has spoken to me through it.’ That’s great.
A danger in sticking with one thought, one idea is that we aren’t balanced. The Christian whose favourite is ‘Be strong and very courageous,’ may be a brave action-woman but perhaps should also pay attention to her compassion and patience.
The Christian whose favourite is ‘Come to me you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest,’ may need to take time out, but there may be family members who need his time and attention today.
We can become set in our ways, going round and round in circles; if our perspective is Christian these are Christian circles.
So how did I respond to the question? I confessed that I don’t have a favourite. Each year I start reading Genesis on January 1st, and finish Revelation on December 31st. Each day I look for ‘today’s favourite’.
Today it’s four verses from James 1:
- Restraint – ‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.’(19)
- Reflection – ‘Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.’(23-24)
- Religion/Response – ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’(27)
These are today’s favourites. With fresh ones tomorrow I hope and pray that I avoid rotating in circles of any variety…