The Danger of Familiarity

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As we begin our 2016 Challenge, we start by reading the first 5 chapters of Matthew.  This comes on the coattails of Christmas, which makes these passage very familiar.  Thus we pray the following post will be a timely encouragement. 

The danger of a familiar text is often unspoken of, but it is very real. Familiarity with a story or text of Scripture can cause us to gloss over a passage because we’ve read or heard it before. So how do we overcome this temptation?  The answer is to slow down and question the familiar.

First, slow down.  When we are familiar with the text we tend to speed up, therefore we must intentionally slow down and think about each phrase.  This leads us to the second help, ask questions.  When you began examining each phrase or thought in the text you can start to ask the text questions.  Here are a few helpful questions to ask familiar text :

  • What does it teach me about God’s act or character? What lies about God does it counter?
  • What does it teach me about mankind? What lies about mankind does it counter?
  • How does this point me to the gospel? (If you need help understanding that watch this video.)
  • How must my life (behavior, words, emotions, thoughts, etc.) change in light of this truth? What must I renounce and stop? What must I practice?

It may be helpful to write these question on a notecard and use it as a book mark.  This will allow you to keep them front and center in your mind as you read.

Let us know if you have other helps for reading familiar texts?  

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