A New View on some very Old Words

Today I was reading The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren. It’s a fabulous book so far, and I’m enjoying it very much.

Anyway, in chapter 3, Rick quoted a Bible verse that made me pause. I felt certain I had never heard that verse before.

I flipped to the index to find the details about it, and discovered that it’s from The Message translation of the Bible. I usually read NIV (the New International Version). The Message is a paraphrase translation, which I do not usually care to read. I like getting my Bible in the purest form I can. I like to look up roots and alternate meanings of words. If I could read Hebrew and Greek, I’d read the Bible in that. But I don’t, so I stick with NIV.

However, in this case, the paraphrase helped me to view a verse in a way I never had before.

The verse is Proverbs 13:7.

NIV reads:

One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

The Message reads:

A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.

Every time I’ve read this in the past (and it has been many times, as Proverbs is one of my favorite books), I have always associated it only with material wealth. But as I read these words today, I could feel God whispering “Do Less”.

It’s not just about money or possessions. It’s about my time, overscheduling, being busy, and not taking time to sit and hear Him.

I’m going to Do Less.

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