Friday, March 3, 2017

If You Are Wrong, Do You Want to Know?

There are a couple of verses that I keep in the back of my mind, and I think it's a good idea for everyone. We need to remember that we are accountable for what we say and teach.  The first one is James 3:1. "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness." That should make each of us take note. The second verse is from Job. Remember Job's friends were telling him about how he must have sinned and made God angry. God's reply to them is found in Job 42:7. "My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has". They were then instructed to make a sacrifice and ask Job to pray for them.

When I speak or preach or write, I remember these two verses. More than anything else, I want to speak and teach of the Lord what is right and true. I study a lot of theology, I read books and articles and blogs, look at commentaries and studies and materials to learn the most that I can. I share ideas and I'm open to discussion and criticism, because I don't want to hear God tell me that I have not spoken of God what is true. I do not want His anger to burn towards me because I have taught about God things that are not true about God.

What about you? If you are wrong in your theology or belief, would you want to know? If would do, I will question you or challenge you on things. I have served with and sat under more than  a few pastors, and I have challenged many of them. Some of them are very wise, very humble and very well prepared to discuss their theology. Some are not. The danger with being in leadership is we are often filled with pride and become the person who must have all the answers. We become like Job's friends, so sure in our belief that we don't stop to wonder if it's true, if we are right. We have to embrace the possibility that we could be mistaken.

The solution to this problem is first to be students. To be a teacher, you must be a student and be willing to listen to others and learn. You never stop looking and reading an listening and asking. Never stopped being challenged, and we all must never assume that we've "arrived". The only thing we can do is stay humble and stay teachable.

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