Forget about spending the day with my best friend! Wrapping a hand with toilet paper for another round of sneezing and germ dispersing, I thought, “Better to get sick on a school day than waste a perfectly beautiful Saturday!” My pre-teen plans had been shattered.

“Maybe you should plan to stay in bed today,” Mom suggested as she felt my head. “Mmm. Maybe the flu?”

Sniffling through Friday’s sixth grade science and history lesson, I had been
fascinated by the disease that destroyed crews sailing across the ocean–all for lack of vitamin C. I remembered just a few of the symptoms, and then I checked to see. Sure enough, I was pale and I did have spots! (Alarmed, it never occurred to me that before the fever and sneezing hit, I had pre-existing spots–both freckles and bug bites.)

I proclaimed, “Probably just a touch of scurvy!”

Mom choked, coughed, and then turned to erupt in laughter at my self-diagnosis. She served balanced, healthy meals. No lack of vitamin C there! Also, my brothers and I often picked and snacked on the softball-sized oranges on trees in the backyard.

No wonder my mother, a trained nurse, laughed so hard!

My embarrassing moment came from holding onto only a small part of a body of facts. It was like picking a Bible verse without reading the entire context, and then making decisions “based on God’s word.”

Peter, who walked with Jesus, hearing his words first hand, advised: “… grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 3:18 NIV ]

How do you grow in knowledge? Learn the whole word. Read every day in the Bible. Invest time each day and your knowledge of the whole word of God will keep you from mistaking your words for His.

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking  her weekly blog on]