As I get older I care less and less about matters which used to hold some interest to me. I am supposing and probably more like hoping that on central matters of life and of the faith I am growing in interest and/or understanding. Other matters I either don’t consider important at all anymore, of relatively little importance, or on which I am glad to remain agnostic since I think scripture may not really address the question or answer it in the way our theologies do. I am glad for the zeal of younger folks who go after some subjects which really are quite important in their place. I can appreciate and learn from them. I am not so inclined anymore to want to hash out some of the ongoing debates that are out there. For one thing I’ve sadly seen Christians tear into each other. Which ends up ruining the entire thing. But even when that doesn’t happen and a constructive dialog takes place, I pick and choose my spots much more carefully. The older one gets the more one realizes just how limited time is.
But one thing in this regard I want to be is simply inquisitive. To be interested to pursue important questions. For example, recently I noticed from Galatians 5 that the NIV 2011 changed the fruit of the Spirit patience to forbearance. Of course I love the simple word patience. And I want to push away a word like forbearance. Who uses that in everyday life? And yet I can see in that word a richness of meaning which can be helpful in understanding patience in terms of relationships which the passage is all about. To forbear is to put up with each other, which to some extent we have to do and are called to do in love. But I would want to go to a Greek lexicon and perhaps more than one to see what meaning they would give to the Greek term so translated (my transliteration: makrothumia). I see in my BAGD lexicon that one definition given for the word is “forbearance, patience toward others” and that Galatians 5:22 is listed as one of the passages with that meaning. If I had more time I’d like to study this thought further (and I intend to later). I would do so by looking up good evangelical and other Christian commentaries on Galatians, especially those which might get more into the language itself.
So it’s good and surely a vital part of our humanity to continue to explore. Yes, to read, to ask questions. As we remain in the Truth in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.