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Scripture: Food for the mind and soul

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We look to many sources for inspiration and guidance in the course of our lives. Many of these can be positive influences on us, while others are less than ideal.

The human brain needs input and food in the form of worthy ideas and inspiration before it can produce a quality product, whether that product is pragmatic or artistic, or whether it is simply the way we live.

Artists need inspiration in order to have a subject or an idea worth exalting. Similarly, the Bible is the Christian’s ultimate source of inspiration. It is full of excellent literature and poetry, truth and beauty, but most importantly it points us to God, who is immeasurably worthy of exaltation. This reality is what prompts and motivates us to live our lives in a way that glorifies God.

For the Christian, this begins with meditating on Scripture, and it boils down to identifying priorities. For example, if you desire to be a good writer, you must read many, many books, articles and essays. If you want to be a good poet, you must read and study poetry. If you want to be an effectual Christian, you must read and study Scripture. Incidentally, studying Scripture can also help you to become a good writer, poet, artist, etc..

For example, Shakespeare was heavily influenced by Scripture, and Biblical themes and allusions seep out of his writings. This truly adds depth and texture to the work of the most influential writer in the English speaking world. But beyond enhancing creative and intellectual ability, the most valuable product resulting from a life immersed in Scripture is the fruit of Christ-likeness displayed in our everyday interactions. It shapes one's philosophy and worldview and therefore defines even the nuances of our lives.

Scripture tells us that the Word of the Lord is life (John 6:63). It certainly encompasses all of life in its scope, but it also feeds us life-giving wisdom and truth. The point of all of this is to teach us to glorify God, and in doing so we find true and lasting happiness.

Reading the Psalms and Proverbs is an excellent place to start. The beauty and wisdom of these poetic books speak to the whole person and encompass every shade of human emotion. Additionally, beneath the immediate context, the underlying story of all of Scripture pervades these books, and that story has the power to resonate in the soul, inspiring us to spread life and truth to the far reaches of our worlds.

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