The Bible is anything but boring. It's filled with stories that rival the pop sci-fi, action, adventure, and mystery books and movies of today. Some Scripture is graphic with both sexual and violent encounters that would require ratings for "mature audiences only" if put on a TV or movie screen.
The blunt and honest account of many stories, poetry, and prose found in the Bible confound many. The depravity of people is not sugar-coated. There's no spiritual spin on God's part.
Some advice in Proverbs is pointed. Figurative language is used but the point made is hard to ignore, especially considering the author. King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. He knew a thing or two about women (1 Kings 11:3).
Though he was a great king and wise man, his heart was turned away from God to the idolatry of all his wives. He allowed their influence and their desire to rule in his life. So he turned away from the God whom he knew to be true and from the wise truth he spoke and wrote.
It's been said, "the eyes are the windows to the soul." This is a popular version of similar expressions throughout history. A person's eyes are a truer indication of the state of their soul than their facial expression and words.
In this case, the eyes are windows for others to look inside another person—into their soul, their heart. A person can wear a smile on their face while trying to cover the grief within them that's seen in their eyes.
Most of us have a fascination with sunrises and sunsets—in paintings, photos, and especially in person. Whether along the coast, the desert or plains, or high in the mountains, the beginning and end of a day is an opportunity to pause, watch, and take in the majesty of creation.
Dawn and dusk often provided kaleidoscopic displays of color that overshadow whatever else occupies my mind, wherever I've lived.
What do you cherish? What do you love in a special way? Think about who and what you admire and value most. This is what it means to cherish.
Cherish is not a common word today but you get a sense of its meaning by how it sounds and the way it's expressed. When we cherish something or someone, we hold it or them in high regard with love, adoration, even worship.
Fear can paralyze or energize us. It's called the flight or fight effect. But the fear of fear—of sudden terror—is a bottomless pit. There's no end to it. It doesn't paralyze, it puts a person in a comatose emotional and mental state.
A fear of sudden terror is understandable for war-torn regions of the world and for people living under an oppressive government. In those situations, a general fear for one's life is realistic, but it's not for those of us who live in nations with some form of democracy or representative government.
What's your great pursuit in life? What do you put most of your energy and interest into? Success... fame... love... pleasure... honor... respect... fulfillment... peace... contentment...?
Short-sighted pursuits are easily short-changed, even leaving a person empty. Taking the longer view may lead to discouragement and impatience along the way.
How would you describe respect? Three different types of respect come to mind for me.
Probably the most common one could be termed surface respect—it's shallow as the term implies. It's shown when the boss comes around or when trying to impress someone of importance.
Some respect is born out of sheer fear, dread, or fearfulness. It's an anxious fear that tends to cause people to flee or freeze up.