Did you ever have trouble with punctuation when you were in school?
Hi I’m Christin Ditchfield and this is Take It To Heart!
Some of us could never get the hang of those periods, commas, colons, and semicolons – always putting them in the wrong places. And some of us still do – not just in our letters and emails and Facebook posts, but in our Scripture reading.
The Bible tells us one thing, but we make it say another – just by changing the punctuation in our heads. We tend to add things in parentheses or with asterisks to explain why certain verses apply to everyone but us. Or in any situation except this one. You know, like “Do everything EXCEPT the laundry without complaining.” Or “Do not worry… unless you have a really good reason, in which case worry with all your might.”
We tend to turn commandments into suggestions. Or combine verses into run-on sentences: Such as in “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and I just want to be about my Father’s business.”
But one of the worst things we do involves a punctuation error that causes us to doubt the character and integrity – the goodness – of our God. A wise old saint once warned, “Never put a question mark where God puts a period.”
God loves me? God loves me. God knows what’s happening in my life today? God knows what’s happening in my life today. God sees my suffering? God sees. God cares? He cares. God will provide for me? He’ll protect me? God will provide for me. He will protect me.
Makes a big difference, doesn’t it? As you read your Bible this week, ask God to help you read it as it’s written… receive each precious promise, believe each word of assurance, obey each commandment. Don’t repunctuate. Learn to trust Him and take Him at His Word.