“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
John 1:1 (NKJV)
I have always been a reader. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I grew up before electronics were in the mainstream. I can still remember when the Commodore 64 computer came into our house. However, before that, to fill my time, I would read. My parents always had the Reader’s Digest in the house. I would start by reading the jokes, but would always be sure to read the Word Power section. I would use it to build my vocabulary.
As a child, one of the earliest corrections that I can remember receiving from my parents, was over a new word to my vocabulary. I had learned this new, four-letter word from school. That evening, I proudly, and loudly, announced that new word to my dad, at the family dinner table. My dad was so “impressed” with my new word, he asked me to repeat it… a few times, I might add. A split-second later, I found out he was actually not at all impressed by my new word. Matter of fact, he was pretty angry. That day, I learned more than just a four-letter word, for sure!
Nevertheless, that lesson was one I have never forgotten. No, I didn’t get my mouth washed out with soap, nor did I get a spanking. Although, there are many times I would have rather got a spanking. Instead, I got the whole, “I am disappointed in you.”
On this day, though, my dad stated something I have since taught others. It was a simple statement, yet it has stuck in my life.
My dad said, “A man that can only express himself using curse words, isn’t an educated man. You should be able to express yourself, without using words that make you seem unintelligent.”
I took that as a personal challenge, to know enough words to be able to properly express myself. For the record, I have never introduced a new word like that to my dad again; especially the ones I picked up on the playground.
In school, my teachers said I was a whizz when it came to reading. I can attribute much of my reading comprehension, and vocabulary, to that encounter with my dad.
Secondly, I can attribute a lot of my ability to read and to understand, to the fact that reading the Bible was a big deal in my home. We read the King James Version (KJV), not because we didn’t believe in other translations, but at the time I was growing up there wasn’t a lot of the other translations that we have now. Therefore, we read the KJV Bible. Try reading through Chronicles and you’ll understand exactly what I am talking about. I wasn’t sure who begat was, but boy he sure begat a whole lot of folks.
Reading the Reader’s Digest Word Power section raised up my vocabulary. Reading God’s Word raised me up on a whole different level. To this day, I can remember verses that I read as a child, memorized them, and later came to understand them on a new level. I didn’t know that I was being scriptural in “[hiding] God’s Word in my heart” (Psalm 119:11), I was just reading it like a book. The more I would read it, the more I began to understand God.
Reading God’s Word will always bring you up. It will raise you up. In fact, it raises you up in many ways: It raises up your understanding of God. It raises up your understanding of who you are. It raises up your understanding of what you can do, and where God wants to take you. It raises your expectation. It raises your faith. It raises your prayers. It will also cause you to raise up praise. When you get into the Word of God, there’s no doubt, it will bring you up.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
Study, read, meditate on God’s Word so you learn some new Word, and bring yourself up, as well as others around you.