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Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Over and Over Again!
LEARNING BY REPETITION
“Mary had a little…..”
“Twinkle, twinkle, …”
“Peter Piper picked…”
So did you have any trouble completing any of those? If you were from another country or culture you might not have immediately completed them, but I suspect a very large majority of us in the United States can complete every one of those lines and more that aren’t listed. In fact, these may even remind you of others (anybody seen any wood chucks chucking lately?)
Learning by repetition, or by rote, is very out of vogue these days. People talk more now about learning styles, whether one learns aurally, or visually, or kinesthetically. They talk about integrated learning, where english composition may be taught through the medium of writing essays on the current History lesson. Up-to-date teachers use methods that have the children actively involved in the learning process with more than just hearing and seeing, but actually doing and learning through inductive investigations. And I happen to believe all these things are actually pretty good ideas. HOWEVER….
However, I also think we should be careful about giving repetition such short shrift. After all, you still remember those little ditties, don’t you? (as in Doo wah, doo wah, doo wah, ditty, talk about…) Perhaps repetition is dull and boring, but it can cement things into our hearts and minds in ways that one just never forgets.
Perhaps that is why God repeats so many of his teachings and admonitions in the Bible. I was reminded of that fact first hand today, as I was doing my morning readings in scripture, and using different materials, but ended up with a divinely planned serendipitous experience. In fact, my experience was to explore readings in materials designed for the years 1999, 2015 and 2016, when today they intersected upon one topic from a variety of verses scattered throughout the scripture.
I don’t know that it is necessary that I give you the specifics of those so much as it is to remind you of the kinds of things God apparently believed were so important for us to hear, that the topics are addressed over and over and over in scripture. If God thinks they are important enough to repeat, it seems to me there are two things clearly implied: 1) in the eternal scheme of things where God make the final decisions, these things really are important; 2) we human beings tend to forget or ignore some of these lessons, and so need reminding of their importance…which also means that you or I will not have been the only person who has struggled with these lessons.
Having said all that, let me give you some words and phrases that you can run through a concordance or search and find that over and over God has stressed that these things really are important, and we really do need sometimes the reminders. So how about these as messages from God--
Do not fear, God is with you.
Love one another.
God loves you. Seriously, deeply, passionately and unflinchingly loves you.
Sin damages us and others more than we think.
Be courageous and be strong, with God’s power at your side.
God is to be the most important being in your life.
Rejoice, be a person of joy, confident in God’s care for you.
Eternal life is available to any who would be followers of Jesus.
This world and its possessions are not what really matters in life.
Your relationship with God is.
Sin is serious business, which is why Jesus died to pay the penalty on your behalf.
Serving is more rewarding than being a big shot. And much more pleasing to God!
Trust God…no matter what.
There is always hope if God is in your life.
And this list contains just a few. Perhaps you might find encouragement, strength and guidance by perusing scripture to discover your own list that relates to the needs you are experiencing in life. There is something in the Bible for every person, and for every situation in your life. You just have to look. And realize that things that are important really are worth repeating! Maybe it’s time to repeat some of them to yourself.