Still a Student

After fifty-plus years of speaking the English language (I’ll leave the plus part to your imagination!), I’m still looking up words in the dictionary. Since, as a writer, I need to be a reader as well, I run across new-to-me words on a fairly regular basis. It’s not that I have a poor vocabulary, there are just a lot of unfamiliar words out there, especially when I get into areas outside my realm of experience.

Recently I read a novel that featured a main character with a form of autism. Since I don’t have close personal experience with autism, I had to hit the dictionary a couple of times over terminology I’d heard before but didn’t really understand. Not long ago, I read some historical fiction that put me in a time and place that also stretched the limits of my vocabulary.

Of course, other times I’m foggy on meanings of words that I have seen before and should, in fact, know. Maybe my brain has only so much room and has started deleting past info to make room for new? Say it ain’t so! :)

Whether encountering brand new words or words I simply need to review, I have a choice to make. I can skip over them completely, try to guess their meaning from the context, or take time to look them up. I can choose to still be a student or just coast through and miss the full message intended.

Many times I choose to coast, allowing time factors or lack of convenience to dictate my decision. But lots of other times, I choose to investigate. I choose to learn, to still be a student. I may not remember the new word a day later, but the process still helped me grasp that particular passage more fully.

What about when I—and you—read the Word of God? We may be familiar with much of the language, but what do we do when we run across words and phrases or names and places that are unfamiliar to us? What about when we know the actual meaning of certain words, but we’re puzzled by the deeper meaning of the passage? Do we take time to read the footnotes or look up words in our concordance or do some cross-referencing? Do we dig deep to discover what words meant in the original Greek or Hebrew language?

Are we still students of the Word of God or do we just coast through in our reading? Do we sometimes miss the full message intended? I don’t know about you, but I don’t dig deep often enough. The Word of God is too important to miss, isn’t it? Let’s choose to learn. Let’s choose to investigate. Let’s still be students.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

*Flickr photo by crdotx, Creative Commons License

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  1. The greatest blessing to my understanding the Bible has come with reading Children’s and Adolescent Bibles with my boys. The historical footnotes and real-life examples really solidify our comprehension.

  2. Great post, Cheryl. Reminds me to take the time to dig deeper in knowledge and understanding instead of just cruising through. xx

  3. Oh sweetie, I’m a retired Special Ed. educator and some of my most challengin’ yet favorite students had Aspergers Syndrome. A noted high functionin’ from of Autism.

    I do dig especially since I teach a Pre~Teen Sunday School Class and am the Kid’s Church leader. Glory those kiddos can challenge your knowledge.

    I love this post…yep, we are all students as long as we take in breath!

    God bless ya sweetie and have yourself an amazin’ day!!! :o)

  4. I LOVE the dictionary/thesaurus on my computer and use it extensively. But, when I am reading a real book, I have to put it down, dump a cat off my lap, go to the other side of the room, bend down to the bottom shelf where the tall books live, and pull out my 5 lb. dictionary from 1950-something. Lazy lazy girl – I tend to just coast in those situations.

  5. Cheryl,

    I agree, and love to be a lifelong learner. Thanks.

    I am so glad you stopped by my post and were inspired to want to help fight human trafficking. I have loved this three post series that ends each time with easy tangible ways to help. It gives me hope and excitement to be able to help. All welcome…

    Jennifer Dougan

  6. I’m a huge word/word meaning fan, so I keep a dictionary close at hand. I have also become a avid fan of inductive bible study principles. It forces me to see the text in it’s whole context, which has, in turn, helped me to appreciate God’s word more.

  7. Laura Drumb says

    Great thoughts, appreciate the reminder to let learning be a life-long pursuit. I get frustrated when an author uses a word I don’t know but it does push me to look it up, because NOT knowing is worse then making the effort to find out!!

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