Monday, May 23, 2011

Good conversation partners

Scripture: Psalm 119:9-16
Yesterday I had the privilege of having a conversation with one of my favorite people. This particular man has lived an extraordinary life through amazing times and in unique locations across the globe. I say conversation, but really I simply asked a few purposeful questions and sat back and listened to his wisdom  and gentleness. He is one of my favorite people to converse with because his life experiences are so differently than mine (age and ethnicity among others) that he sees things in ways I don't and sheds light on them in ways that are challenging.
Scripture is a formative conversation partner for our life as we discover how God has interacted with His people throughout history. The word conversation comes from the Latin word which means "to live with." As our Scripture passage from Psalm 119 notes, God's Word should be our primary conversation partner in our Spiritual Formation. As Robert Mulholland observes, "The question is not whether to undertake spiritual formation; the question is what kind of spiritual formation are we engaged in." 
Who are your spiritual formation partners? Where does Scripture rank in that order?
How might we be in conversation with Scripture instead of simply reading it for study or pleasure? What might be the difference in reading for information, trivia, or as a conversational partner?
How might we ask better questions of Scripture such that Scripture challenges our preconceived notions about life? God? How we think of others?
Find a favorite parable (for example read the lost parables in Luke 10) and allow it to become a conversation partner. Ask and live with such questions as, What might the father be thinking? The older son? The younger son? What does this parable teach us about God? About ourselves? About others? About how we treat others? What new insights have you gained? How will you live them out? 

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