August 14, 2011

The Eye of the Beholder

It's always amazing to me when two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different. Remember Nancy Reagan's first Inaugural gown? Some people looked at the one-shouldered white dress and saw classic elegance.

Source: Google Images

Others saw this:


I'll confess to seeing both. A one-shouldered dress has never been my personal style, but hey, Wilma's outfit was pretty classic. And even at 21, I admired Nancy's courage in letting her middle-aged arms show. It's something I've thought about virtually every morning of this hottest. summer. ever. as I have chosen sleeveless shirts and dresses from my closet.

Just as I knew people with varying opinions of Nancy's dress, I have known people who look at the Bible and see different things. Some people see lists of rules. Others see freedom. Still others see love.

I'll confess to seeing all of those things because they are not mutually exclusive. The Bible has guidelines for our lives. There's no question about that. Those guidelines are there to show us how to love God, and how to love others. They're there to protect us from harming others and from harming ourselves. The Bible shows us how to find freedom in Christ, but warns us not to abuse our freedom. Most of all, the Bible tells us how much God loves us. Everything else comes from that love that began long before we were created.

When I taught Preschool Worship, one Sunday I followed the teacher's book in preparing a lesson about the Bible. I had a cookbook, a sewing book, a French book, and a couple of other instructional books to show the kids. Then, following the lesson plan, I asked them to tell me why God wrote the Bible. According to my teacher's book the correct answer was, "God wrote the Bible to tell us how to live our lives." But there was one little boy -- wise beyond his years -- who answered, "God wrote the Bible to tell us how much he loves us." It blew my lesson to smithereens, but he was right. God wrote the Bible to tell us how much he loves us.

Until next time,

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. ~ John 3:16-17 (NIV)


  1. Children can see things so clearly. "God wrote the bible to tell us how much he loves us" is the best answer.

  2. I love teaching kids. They don't hold back. They don't worry about being right. I wish wd could teach people to hold on to that.

    God gave us the bible because he loves us and his rules teach us how to love.

  3. Kids are the best! Not only are they fun to teach, but they teach you right back.

  4. There's some quote somewhere that says the Bible is the greatest love letter ever written. I think your little student got it just right.

  5. “Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.” - Henry Ward Beecher - :)

  6. Vee and Paula - Thanks for posting your quotes. Both are wonderful!