Communication Builds Our Community

Reading to Challenge Our Thinking

Are we reading words that genuinely challenge our current thinking?

Do we read books, blogs, posts, and news feeds that only tend to be in line with our world experiences? Are we drawn to read organized printed thoughts (which are likely edited for maximum impact) that really only infuriate us to the point of more solidly reaffirming our preconceived world view?

We are blessed to have the ability to actually read and comprehend meaning in printed symbols. There is so much information available, but only a finite amount of time in our lives to read and grow. God, give us Your wisdom in what we put our eyes on, what we consider, and how we apply what we read to our interactions with You and with our neighbors.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 11 of a book that may be worth pondering:

"Why are you sorry, sir?" said George, calmly.

"Why, to see you, as it were, setting yourself in opposition to the laws of your country."

"My country!" said George, with a strong and bitter emphasis; "what country have I, but the grave – and I wish to God that I was laid there!"

"Why, George, no-no-it won't do; this way of talking is wicked-unscriptural. George, you've got a hard master-in fact, he is-well, he conducts himself reprehensibly-I can't pretend to defend him. But you know how the angel commanded Hagar to return to her mistress, and submit herself under her hand; and the apostle sent back Onesimus to his master."

"Don't quote Bible at me that way, Mr. Wilson," said George, with a flashing eye, "don't! for my wife is a Christian, and I mean to be, if ever I get to where I can; but to quote Bible to a fellow in my circumstances is enough to make him give it up altogether. I appeal to God Almighty-I'm willing to go with the case to Him, and ask Him if I do wrong to seek my freedom."

"These feelings are quite natural, George," said the good-natured man, blowing his nose. "Yes, they're natural, but it is my duty not to encourage 'em in you. Yes, my boy, I'm sorry for you now; it's a bad case-very bad; but the apostle says, 'Let everyone abide in the condition in which he is called.' We must all submit to the indication of Providence, George-don't you see?"

George stood with his head drawn back, his arms folded tightly over his broad breast, and a bitter smile curling his lips.

"I wonder, Mr. Wilson, if the Indians should come and take you a prisoner away from your wife and children, and want to keep you all your life hoeing corn for them, if you'd think it your duty to abide in the condition in which you were called. I rather think that you'd think the first stray horse you could find an indication of Providence-shouldn't you?"

H.B. Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin

Christian Ponder has been a resident of Lake Wales since 2001. He enjoys living in Lake Wales with his wife and two children.


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