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The Scripture Challenge

Mar 27, 2023

This post is by Shari Gabourel.

 

I don’t know if you are familiar with what an Internet challenge is, but because I have two daughters in adolescence, I quickly became knowledgeable.

An Internet challenge is a cultural phenomenon defined as “Internet users recording themselves taking a challenge and then distributing the resulting video through social media sites, often inspiring or daring others to repeat the challenge.”3 Due to these online influences and seeking attention by “liking” a behavior with global encouragement, there are no boundaries or limits to whom you can reach…

My 14-year-old enjoys watching a well-known viral philanthropist engage in amusing challenges. Whatever the contest, once it is finished, the winner is usually awarded an outlandish prize that, in my opinion, is disproportionate to the venture itself.

Then a thought came to me during my God time. 

What if there was a Scripture Challenge?

For example, what if you could select a certain biblical passage to engage in for 7-days and in the end, be rewarded with an incredible prize? 

Let’s say the passage on the table is the very popularized and often recited reference from Proverbs 3:5-8. 

5Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understanding.

6In all your ways acknowledge Him,

and He will make your paths straight.

7Do not be wise in your own eyes;

fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

8It will be healing to your body

and refreshment to your bones.

The goal is to endeavor to accomplish the three directives found in verses five through seven. And if successful, the end result would subsequently and naturally follow as asserted in verse eight:

 

8It will be healing to your body

and refreshment to your bones.

 

Who wouldn’t want that? Count me in. 

Because I’m no stranger to this passage, I should be able to manage this test with NO PROBLEM!

The task is simple. For the next seven days, all I must do is…

Trust in the Lord…with ALL my heart.

I am to refrain from being distrustful of the Lord’s ability when I petition Him in prayer. I must rest my mind on the integrity of who God is. My entire inner self, my temper and natural tendencies are expected to rely on the Lord. 

Further, I am not permitted to lean, rely, or even rest my mind on my own understanding—how I comprehend things to be or should be.

Hold on a minute. 

As I begin deconstructing the first imperative sentence, which in grammatical nature is ordering me—in a slightly bossy way to trust in the Lord with all my heart, I feel a bit apprehensive. 

I don’t know if I’m completely up for the challenge. Sure, I’m familiar with the text and have recited it countless times. But as I begin to peer into the charge, I discern a responsibility I have often treated as theoretical.  

Truth is, my execution of the text would generally look like this:

I will trust in the Lord with all my heart…when there are no more school shootings, and I can feel safe sending my kiddos to school. 

I will trust in the Lord with all my heart…when I pay down some of the credit debt I’ve accrued and can breathe a bit better.

I will trust in the Lord with all my heart…when my husband can guarantee he will never transgress our sacred vows.

Until then, I will regrettably continue to only partially trust in Him.

Perhaps I should reconsider this endeavor. Or maybe I should move forward with reinforcements, like fellow siblings in Christ. 

Friends, I cannot convincingly or victoriously fulfill this Scripture challenge without help. I am not an independent member, but a dependent member of God’s family. In other words, I depend on the other significant parts of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-25). 

To be sure, trusting in the Lord with all my heart is not to be commenced and concluded within a seven-day period. It is to be achieved over a lifetime. And just as an elephant is eaten one bite at a time, that is how I’m going to approach this lifelong Scripture challenge…one day at a time.

 

References:

https://www.clinicaladvisor.com/home/20th-anniversary-clinical-pearl-giveaway/internet-challenges-and-teenagers-a-guide-for-primary-care-providers/

 

Shari Gabourel is a Generation Xer and a retiree, who homeschools her two Gen Z daughters. She holds a B.S. in Business Management. While earning a Certificate in Christian Ministry from The King’s Seminary, she had the unforgettable privilege of studying abroad at the historic Oxford University. Her husband and daughters are transplants from Southern California to North Carolina and are gradually adjusting to the southeast. Shari continues her love of writing and studying the Word of God. When she’s not writing, she and her family enjoy playing Uno while eating popcorn and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

 

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