Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bible Journaling and Adult Coloring, 1 Corinthians 10:31

I saw a post a friend shared about "adult mandala coloring books".  (small case deliberate).  As I was reading the post, I was thinking that I knew there was a reason I didn't care for those patterns and now I realize it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me.  I agree that the patterns and books promote mysticism.
I do, however, love to journal and I love to color.  There is a somewhat new concept going around using pictures and coloring to study God's Word.  Painting, coloring right on the Bible pages, a lot of times covering the actual words.  That is something that I cannot do, I use a separate book for my journaling.  I do write in my Bible, I just can't bring myself to "deface" the pages, no matter how pretty the artwork.  Somehow to me, that seems to defeat the purpose!!
I love to journal, I love to write, God gave me a gift of writing many, many years ago and I am so thankful, I do not take it lightly.  I am a Bible journaler, have been for years.  Writing things out myself helps me to remember them.  I also like to record prayers and see where God has moved because so many things happen we tend to forget what we have prayed for at times (at least I do).  It's also a good testimony and ministry tool.  Recently I have begun writing out Bible verses and illustrating the page with pictures and coloring.  I find that coloring the words and the page is a good memorization technique for me also.  
Here is what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me about journaling and adult coloring:  1 Corinthians 10:31,  "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  Let EVERYTHING you do be to the glory of God including journaling AND coloring!  My coloring is nothing elaborate, hopefully, it is pretty and pleasing to God, but if I try to make some elaborate picture with lots of concentrated drawing and coloring, where is the glory to God in that?  Yes, I want God to be pleased with it BUT am I really doing it for God's glory or my own?  I do it to help commit verses to memory, it is relaxing also.  
I am not saying it is wrong but if I do it to excess then I am concentrating more on my own work than God's.  My thoughts are more on how to make it look more appealing to self, others, maybe than to God.  I want it to be pleasing to God and for my mind to be totally on committing the verse to memory.  I don't repeat the verse as a mantra over and over as I'm coloring, however, I do read and reread, that is a study technique the Lord gave me years ago when I was younger and in school to help study.  I don't concentrate on the coloring, I concentrate on the Word and the Author of the Word.
There is nothing wrong with journaling, there is nothing wrong with coloring.  But, in all you do, do it to the glory of the Lord.  He doesn't care if you color inside the lines, He doesn't care if you accidentally get outside the lines, in coloring, He cares that you are spending time with Him and in His Word.
I journal after I have prayed, spent time in God's Word and with God to record what He has revealed to me through scripture and where He has led me through His Word to teach me.  I color to help me remember and it is, for me, another form of praise, to God, not self.
Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock, and my Redeemer."
Psalm 139:23-24, 23Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.