My favorite tool is my Strong’s Concordance – and I don’t want the online one, I want the physical book one. I get lost in it – you know, how we can get lost in Facebook or Wikipedia? I went to Wikipedia to find out what other movie that guy was in again, and then I click on that little blue link because I forgot about that person, and then there’s another little blue link, so I click on that and…. 3 hours later, I know everything there is to know about the 1964 television special “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, wondering why I was on in the first place and where the time went. Or Facebook – I just went scroll my top 10 in the newsfeed and check messenger, but 2 hours later, I’m still wishing people who I haven’t seen since high school a happy birthday and taking a 65-question quiz to find out which Jane Austen character I am. This is embarrassing to admit – but has that ever happened to you? Lost!
But my Strong’s, well, that’s different! It’s like this huge dictionary with every single word that occurs in the Bible, and it translates everything back to the original greek or hebrew. Every word is related to another word, so I have to look that one up, and then I have to look up the next one, and 3 hours later…. well, I find that I’ve learned something I didn’t know, something valuable. Found! 🙂
Want to follow one of my Strong’s trails with me? Let’s try it out! I start with a verse:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” Colossians 3:12
Then I look up key words (I just decide which words are key to me in the moment, no science to it) and get their Strong’s number, which corresponds to the original language of the Bible:
tenderhearted: Strong’s 4698 – strengthened from inward affliction I didn’t ever consider tenderheartedness as strength, especially not strength coming from an inward affliction. This makes me think that the Lord can even use my hard times, my hurts, to make me tender toward the needs of others, makes me think that maybe the seasons of my life that I don’t consider a gift really were – because they were making me strong for the next person who may need my testimony
merciful: Strong’s 3628 – exercise compassion, pity Exercise indicates to me that there is action required on my part, that being merciful is not an inherent trait, it is something that must be practiced, therefore requiring discipline
kind: Strong’s 5544 – usefulness, excellence in character or demeanor, gentleness, goodness Being kind is also being useful – I like that! I also see a pattern developing, these words are in a specific order on purpose…. the result of strengthening and exercise would be usefulness, wouldn’t it? Excellence in character wasn’t something that happened overnight, it needs to be developed over time
humble: Strong’s 5012 – understanding, sympathy, modesty, lowliness of mind not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought, makes me think of Phillippians 2:3, so I’ll make a note of that and start with that verse in my Strong’s next; I didn’t think modesty when I thought of being humble, but that makes sense – a humble person wouldn’t want to draw attention to themselves (or draw attention away from the main idea!)
gentle: Strong’s 4236 – meek, humble I think having a mild nature requires attention to these qualities, study of the character of Christ would lead us to gentleness because He is so gentle – and with that must come a realization that all of our good qualities originate with the Lord. This is a great time to be careful about pride – I’ll think make another note to spend some time with 1 Corinthians 10:12.
patience: Strong’s 3115 – fortitude, longsuffering, long in place or long in time willingness to endure, patience toward yourself as you grow AND patience toward others as they grow
All of that from those 18 words? Looking into the Word of God, finding out more than you thought was there, receiving encouragement and a challenge to grow? The Bible itself is a treasure, and I’m praying that you take the time to get lost and found in it! ❤
p.s. oddly enough, I was Colonel Brandon 😉