Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stressed-Less Living Blog Hop #6

Verse Mapping: Matthew 6:33

Last week I focused on definitions of the words which I thought were most inspirational in the reflection verse. This week, I want to look at the different translations of Matthew 6:33 and compare the most inspirational parts of each.

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." NIV

"Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need." NLT

"Steep your life in God-reality, God initiative, God provisions. Don't worry about missing. You'll find all you everyday human concerns will be met." MSG

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." TLV

"But first, but concerned about His kingdom and what has His approval. Then all these things will be provided for you." GWT

"Instead, be concerned about everything else with the kingdom of God and with what He requires of you, and He will provide you with all these other things." GNT (US version)

The word "seek" is used in the first sentence in half of the translations I researched. 

"But seek first His kingdom..." (NIV)
"Seek the Kingdom..." (NLT)
"But seek first the Kingdom..." (TLV)

Other translations use alternative words for "seek":

"But first, be concerned about His Kingdom..." (GWT)
"Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom..."(GNT-U.S. Version)
"Steep your life in God-reality, God initiative, God provisions..." (MSG)

seek:attempt to find/discover something by searching and questioning
**Melissa's definition of "seek" that she included in Monday's posting was my favorite:
"to pursue, crave, go after with all your might." 

concerned:be relevant or important to;
                  -worry, anxiety
                  -regard it as important or interesting to do something
                  -have a specific connection with or responsibility for

I'll be honest, "steep" was the word I was most curious to define.  I just thought it was a very interesting choice for least the definition I knew.  I've always referred to "steep" when I'm talking tea bags, and that is one of the definitions of steep.  But I think this definition was much more appropriate:
steep to saturate with or subject thoroughly to (some strong pervading influence)

I believe Merriam-Webster just defined how are God wants our relationship and dedication to him to be.  He wants our souls, our hearts, our spirits, and our minds to be saturated with Him and His unfailing Word.  He wants us to subject thoroughly to him...not just when we are doing our Bible study or sitting in church, but in everything we say and do.  This week, I've realized that my heart and soul are in the right place with God.  It's my mind that keeps getting in the way!
Check out the entire translations I looked up this week and see how differently, yet how similarly, these verses compare to one another.  It's pretty cool. 

"But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." NIV

"See the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need." (NLT)

"Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.  Don't worry about missing.  You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met." (MSG)

"But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (TLV)

"But first, be concerned about His Kingdom and what has His approval.  Then all these things will be provided for you." (GWT)

"Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what He requires of you, and He will provide you with all these other things. " (GNT-U.S. Version)

I'm A Big Girl!
 Yea.  Not nearly as big as I think I am.  Thinking I can "do it all" is one of my biggest flaws.  I have endless to do lists at work and at home, and getting me to ask for help is like trying to get water from a dry well.  It's a job.  It can be pretty pitiful actually, but I am getting a lot better with God's help.   Pride is a powerful demon, and I let it get the best of me far too often.  Pride is such a burden but it can be such a normal part of how I react in certain situations that I don't even realize it has taken me over until the damage has been done. 

Lay Down My Pride
Pride has always, in some way, been a constant stumbling block in my life.  I realize, especially now that I am a mother, that I am very particular about certain things--how my daughter is raised, my professional work, and sometimes just carrying out certain tasks.  I've never been a person that likes to ask for help.  Even as a child, no matter what it was, unless it was something I really did not want to be doing, I wanted to do myself and in my own way.  Even know, when I'm at home I get an idea in my head of how I want something done.  A lot of times, I got this way "Jenny's Scenic Route" because it usually involves me taking several extra steps to complete a task that otherwise could've taken one or two simple steps.  A part of me knows this, but a bigger part has an idea in her head and that is the way it has to be done.  When my husband comes in with a perplexed look on his face, and asks what I'm doing and offers to help in his way, I don't see it as help at all.  I see it as a personal failure because I can't do it alone.  Case in point...
I was changing our livingroom closet from a coat closet to a craft and games closet for our family, and in doing so, I had to adjust some wire shelving, which just involved moving three shelves a little further apart.  Didn't seem like a difficult task to my head.  However, 45 minutes later, guess who was throwing a fit as well as launching the shelf at the closet wall?  This girl.  When my husband came home and found me exhausted, furious, and sweaty, he calmly opened the closet door, asked where I wanted the shelves placed exactly, and in about 30 seconds, it was done.  I was so mad that I could've spit nails.  Who was having a pride-filled meltdown?  Yep.  This girl...again.  Two for two that day.  I don't even know if I remembered that thank my poor husband for relieving me of this endlessly frustrating task so that I could finish the project I'd initially set out to do!  I have plenty of ways I demonstrate patience with my husband, but this is one of the many ways he demonstrates it to me. 
Pride is such an evil monster, and is placed in our hearts by the great monster himself.  The worse thing about pride is that it attacks our spirits and our hearts in so many different facets of our lives if we let it.  I once heard that pride is the one deadly sin that as humans, we simply don't have the power to rid ourselves of completely.  I'm really starting to understand the meaning of those words.  Pride is a tough demon to kill, and it is impossible to even fathom without God.  We aren't strong enough to remove the pride from our hearts, but God is.  And the best we read in Chapter 6 and in scripture:
"indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." Psalm 121:4
Thank God for His supernatural presence who is all knowing and ever present in our lives and in our hearts.  I am not void of all pride in my life.  In fact, I still have many daily battles with it.  The difference is that now I know it.  A long time ago, God opened a door of opportunity when He lead me to these online Bible studies.  With that, He presented me with opportunities to start making changes that would strengthen my daily walk with Him, and it's working.  I have my good days and bad, just like everybody else.  But the good days would be bad, and the bad days unfathomable if God weren't carrying me and my burdens on His shoulders.  As Laura Story quotes in one of her famous songs, What A Savior:

                                 ...You are my only hope.
                                 Your kindness is my friend
                                 In your presence You restore us...
                                 ...You are the way the truth and the life.
                                 You are my joy and my salvation.
                                 Stood in my place taking my shame
                                 Upon Your shoulders...
                                 ...What A Savior!

How my life will be so much sweeter when pride can finally be forever replaced with God's everlasting peace.  I'm so blessed He's a patient God.  He is without a doubt my saving grace and my only hope. 

Blessings and Prayers:
This week I received a call that my five-year-old niece had fallen at school and broken her arm very badly and was going to have to have surgery.  Immediately, my heart sank in fear and worry for this child who holds a special place in many hearts, not just mine.  She's a child who loves to dance and sing and giggle and be silly...and a piece of her was literally broken.  When someone I love is sick or hurt, I take care of them.  That's why I became a nurse, a mom, a wife, and an aunt..."Aunt G" to be exact.  My niece as well as my brother, sister-in-law, and my younger niece live 8 hours away, so physically there was literally nothing I could do.  Spiritually, my to-do list for my family was endless.  God always takes care of our family, so I knew in my heart that He wasn't going to be any different this time.  But my mind was being a "Doubting Thomas."  Not in thinking "God can't fix this..." but rather in thinking "I hope God will fix this."  And I had just read in depth last week's chapter that encouraged us to not do the exact thing I was doing.  I was letting the "what ifs" of my mind overshadow the certainty of God's greatness that is in my heart.  I know better.  God knows I know better.  Yet He still loves.  He's still patient.  Though she is still experiencing some pain, my niece came out of the surgery and was telling her "Mimi" (my mother) the whole story only a short while later.  God isn't good Monday through Friday, 8-4 or 9-5.  His working hours never stop.  His sleeping hours never start.  He is holding us through it all, and has promised to never let go. 

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