Boy does it help to speak to the right person
In my post yesterday (All the right levers and knobs) I made mention of how I battled to get a submersible pump to work correctly and how only after having phoned the hiring company, was I able to get the machine to work correctly. What I did not mention in yesterday’s post, was that I had to phone the company twice.
The first time I phoned, I spoke with the receptionist, who conveyed information to me after having spoken with someone else (whom I assumed knew what they were talking about). Well, when the advice given did not result in the desired outcome, I was forced to phone again. This time, I also spoke with someone else, me not being certain whether it was the same ‘someone else’ who gave the receptionist the ‘unhelpful’ information. He confirmed the lever and knobs thing the receptionist had told me about, but it soon became clear from his explanation, that the lady had gotten the lever functions reversed. After I had spoken with him, I did as he said, and this time the machine kept turning for over an hour, until it ran out of petrol (gasoline). I was euphoric that by speaking to the right person, I was able to move ahead with my project.
Our Christian walk can be very much the same.
If we do not get to speak to someone who knows what they are talking about, we end up speaking to various people and get very varied information that sometimes (many times) leads to frustration. The challenge in Christianity though, is that we can continue on in the advice given for years before we realise that it isn’t bearing any real fruit. And many times, if the person receiving the ‘advice’ is not persistent and willing to press for more information, they end up giving up (throwing in the towel), declaring that ‘this Christian thing’ doesn’t work.
That is why it is so important to make sure that you ask the right people the right questions. Steve Murrel says that even a one week old Christian can be a leader of newer Christians as they are inevitably ‘longer in the faith’ than the newer one. This is true and excellent for discipleship. But the danger of this scenario is that the leader either feels obligated to know all the answers and feels that they must answer all questions posed to them (even the ones that they are ill-equipped to answer), or the new leader feels that they do indeed ‘know it all’ and then continue to answer questions that they are ill-equipped to answer. Which brings me to my next point.
Every new believer (and old) is obligated to educate themselves in the faith. Peter writes that we must always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks about the hope that we have (see 1 Peter 3:15). How do we know what answer to give if we do not educate ourselves in the faith? This does not mean that you need to get a theological degree. But it does mean that you must know what you believe and why you believe it. And there is nothing wrong in admitting that you do not have an answer to a particular question. But at least have someone in mind that you can then ask yourself (and read this post about growing up in the faith).
Why is this important? Because there are many winds of doctrines out there (see Ephesians 4:14) that not only makes Christianity seem quite complicated (when in actual fact it is quite simple – again, read yesterday’s post), but is also quite erroneous in its teaching, tossing people to and fro in confusion. Therefore, it is really helpful for people to be able to turn to someone and be confident that they are going to get a sound answer.
This is why the Christian walk is not a one man show; we need each other. We need need older Christians helping younger Christians, who in turn become older Christians helping other newer Christians. And the younger Christians remind the older Christians what it was like to once be ‘on fire’ for the Lord, spurring the older Christians to evaluate their personal walk and make adjustments.
And when you blink again, you have discipleship 101 flourishing.
Who do you know that you can turn to for sound advice? Who is turning to you for advice? What do you think it takes to be equipped to be able to help others? You can leave a response by clicking here.
my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say
Unless otherwise stated, all references are from the New International Version (NIV)
1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Ephesians 4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
Posted on March 22, 2012, in Christianity, Discipleship, Practical Faith and tagged Christianity, faith, learning from others, teachability. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Boy does it help to speak to the right person.