When we think of commandments in the Bible, these come to mind: “Be ye kind one to another,” “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and the “Ten Commandments.” But how about the phrases or sentences beginning with, “Consider”? Throughout the Bible, the author calls the reader to take time to consider ninety-eight times. The word is found eighty-one times in the Old Testament and seventeen times in the New Testament (using the King James Version).
Recently, upon going through a study with my church body, I was challenged to do a word study on “consider”. Luke 12:24-32 was my first passage of study.
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
After pondering the passage, I was struck with the fact that Jesus is not simply asking me to not worry. It goes deeper than that. He is very clear on the directive to not worry about our life, our bodies, what we eat, and what we wear.
But. To. Seek. His. Kingdom. We are supposed to take all that time and energy that we were spending on the physical worries and invest it instead into the spiritual realm, His Kingdom.
He gives us a DO NOT and a DO.
The study took me about five to ten minutes. It was not huge or deeply profound, but God further revealed His calling on my life when I took the time to consider and evaluate myself by His standards.
How about you? When have you last taken the time to really evaluate yourself by God’s standards in His Word? And out of the evaluation and reflection, can you identify the what, why, how, and who that He is specifically calling you to?
Let’s Make It Practical
As an educator, you are constantly giving, doing, and teaching others. Are you taking the time on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly) to consider, reflect, and grow? I am not talking about your daily devotions, prayer, and Bible reading. That is important, and this could be incorporated into that time, but can we go deeper?
As a personal stipulation for myself, I am committing myself to take the time to pause and consider for ten minutes a day, one hour a week, and one day a month. During that time, I plan to continue my word study of the “consider” passages within the Bible (Matthew 6:28, Matthew 7:3, Mark 6:52, 2 Timothy 2:7, Hebrews 12:3, Deuteronomy 8:5, 1 Samuel 12:24) as well as take the time to more intensely study the books of reflection and personal evaluation, Ecclesiastes and Lamentations.
As you are reading, considering, and personally evaluating, keep these questions in the back of your mind:
- the WHAT: what am I being called to do with the individual gifts and talents entrusted to me in building His Kingdom?
- the WHY: why am I doing what I am doing?
- the HOW: am I using the most effective method/mode/strategy/tool in accomplishing the job He has entrusted to me?
- the WHERE: where am I called to serve and build in His Kingdom?
- the WHO: who am I called to impact for Christ at this time in my life?
Consider and Reflect Before Goal Setting
We are all familiar with the “New Year” craze of setting goals and resolutions for the upcoming year. There is value to setting smart goals for yourself. However, before you take the time to do that, I encourage you to spend adequate time reflecting, considering, and evaluating. Because, after all, to consider is a command.
(Luke 12:24-32). Retrieved from https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/k/kjv/kjv-idx?type=DIV2&byte=4686401.
Showalter, C. L., & Showalter, N. D. (2018). Discovery Handbook. Lancaster, PA: LMC.
CONTRIBUTOR: Kendra Martin