“Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church.” (Ephesians 4:14-15 NLT)
What is your goal as a person of God? Are you delving into the Scriptures daily? Are you bathing your soul and mind in the truths that can only be found in the Bible? Are you spending time with the Lord throughout your day, seeking His wisdom, insight, ideas as to how you should allow Him to live His life in and through you most effectively?
Or do you find yourself more interested in what’s new? What new twist has someone put on a “truth” of Scripture? What new insight is someone promoting that will forward your walk with Jesus? What new idea has your mind wondering WHAT you should believe?
As I age, I’ve discovered there’s rarely anything new under the sun, in terms of theological advancements. Most proponents of “new ideas” are just rehashing old ideas that were heresies then and are heresies now. John Maxwell wrote: “The goal of the pastor is not to get people to show up but to get people to grow up.”
While I believe I understand what Maxwell is saying, and wholeheartedly agree, there’s a part of me that believes 90% of the battle is getting people to show up. As a pastor I could plan all the training and growth opportunities I wanted, with great material and excellent outlines, but they didn’t help a single person who didn’t attend.
That’s why I believe so strongly in personal discipleship. If 2 or even 3+ believers commit to getting together on a regular basis and are willing to make the effort to grow in the Lord, there’s no limit to the good that can come of it.
Here’s the process as I understand it. “Show up!” Commit to a time and place and don’t let anything stop you from meeting, short of an emergency. Then, “Blow up!” What does that mean? Paul, in the verses above, refers to believers who were “blown about by every wind of new teaching.” Get grounded in the truth of the basic tenets of the Christian Faith. Know what you know, so that you’re not confused and misled be some new teaching that comes along. Allow the Holy Spirit to blow up those wrong and unhealthy ideas.
Next, Throw up! One of the most helpful lessons the Lord has taught me over the years is to be willing to regurgitate old ideas that weren’t consistent with what the Bible teaches. There are things I was “taught” in school and in other settings that I’ve come to understand were simply the biases of the persons teaching them. But once, by the leadership of the Holy Spirit, I was able to search the Scriptures on my own, I came to a different conclusion, that presented the need to “Throw up” my old ideas about what a verse or verses was saying.
At least for me, that’s how I’ve been able to “Grow up!” I’ve found that great persons of God are rarely dogmatic, except about the basic tenets of the Faith. No one, in history or today, is 100% knowledgeable about what the Bible teaches except Jesus. We have to do our best to find the truth upon which we can build our lives in Christ, believing there’s always room for error, in us and in others.
That’s why I rarely argue about what someone believes, unless it’s clearly heretical, but even then I remember what someone told me years ago: “No one’s ever argued into the Kingdom.” As for me, I’m still showing up, blowing up, throwing up, and in a desperate pursuit of growing up! How about you?
Food for thought!
Blessings, Ed 😊