More Excellent Ways level 1

The Amplified version of the Holy Bible (you've heard of the "Holy Bible", right?) translates the four qualities of love—expressed as "charity" in the King James—in a unique way. Whereas Paul in his first letter to the Christians in Corinth says that love "beareth all things" (1 Corinthians 13:7a), the Amplified (as it's wont to do) refines it a tad, at least for the modern reader, in saying "Love bears up under anything and everything that comes". I like this. To go from an admittedly beautiful-but-by-now-outmoded translation as the King James to something more digestible as the Amplified isn't quite my point. For sure, how different are the two phrases "all things" and "anything and everything that comes"? Not too different in meaning in spite of the latter's being more than twice as long. No, the distinction comes in the setting aside of the floweriness of the former in light of the practicality of the latter. God knows. Because life is all about living the love of God in whatever way the Holy Spirit (He's ours—He's been gifted to us, see John 7:39) moves us to do. If you think about the two wordings from the respective translations, see them in light of the following two verses.

They're both from Paul's letter to the Galatians. The first is as follows (6:2): "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

Sounds sound, right? Granted, Paul's not only speaking to the Galatians in particular but also a corporate church body in general. This would account for the en masse sense of community threaded through the first half of this last chapter. And before I go any further, a simple and cursory reading of the same in another version—any other version—would serve to quickly elucidate the point I'm trying to make. But before you do that, understand I'm approaching this from a standpoint of both having cut my teeth on the King James and also having grown up and into an incorrect understanding of what it means to "Bear...one another's burdens". You can read the Amplified for yourself should you so desire. Moving forward, I would like to say right here that I want to "fulfill the law of Christ". Who doesn't? The next verse from Paul's letter to the Galatians reads as follows (6:5): "For every man shall bear his own burden."

Read down the first five verses of Galatians 6 and you might be tempted to think there's some sort of evident contradiction right there in the text. But no, while the English words are identical, the Greek words are different. Check 'em out if you feel so inclined. But the idea! I can't say for sure it was the King James that got me started off on the wrong foot of life thinking I had to help any and everyone I saw in need. But I know that had I not lived a little—by God's grace—and also found the Amplified explanation, I should have spent my substance, both figurative and literal, and become a husk of myself and in turn of no use to God.

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." (Psalm 55:22)

The Bible is shot through with pleas on God's behalf to look out for the outcast. The same tempo is echoed when I walk down the street, dismayed at my lot, and see a man tucked under a wrinkled blue tarp, sleeping on the sidewalk. I cannot bear this man's burden. I can, however lift him to the Lord (he's not heavy) and give something if I feel so inclined.

"Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee..." (Acts 3:6a) 

 

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Josh Ingram

I started writing a blog in the Summer of 2011 and I find myself many years later, doing the same thing. Really, I found myself somewhere in the aforementioned process and so now it’s just polish and refinement. I write whenever the Spirit moves me. In other words, uh, hebdomadally. Okay, word. Word.