Why I blog, even though I'm young, dumb, and potentially wrong about everything.
Now, back to business. In four days I will be twenty seven years old. For some of you twenty seven is a thing of the distant past, but since it is the oldest I have ever been, I'm not terribly excited about it. If I'm twenty seven, that means my boys are three & four, and my baby girl will soon be two. Just typing that seems to make the air thicken around me.
To think that another year with these kids has come and gone makes it hard to draw breath. I want the years back. The small moments. The steps and spills and screams and sleepless nights. How quickly it all came and went, and now, we can only go forward. But oh how I long to step back, just for a second. Just to catch a glimpse. But I can't.
There is a second problem that turning twenty seven presents for me. Being twenty seven means that (spiritually) I am soon to be eight. Eight years ago I surrendered my life to Christ. Eight years ago I began to pursue Jesus with my life, my heart, and . . . my mind. Which means, I'm still very new to this game.
Just in the past year I have come to believe differently in several areas of my faith. There are several posts that I have written here that I don't even agree with at this point. And certainly, I will write more that my twenty eight year old self is going to read and disagree with. So why do I continue?
I have tossed this around in my mind so many times. Why do I write this thing? Why don't I just delete all but the "good" posts, and leave those for the random people who Google leads here. I could just walk away.
It's tempting. But let me tell you why I don't.
I believe the Christian life is a process. One of my favorite people in Scripture is Apollos. Apollos knew Scripture, he was a good speaker, and he was passionate. The problem was, his knowledge was limited. All he knew of was the baptism of Jesus, not the ministry that followed, and not His death, burial, and resurrection. He preached what he knew. So here come Priscilla and Aquila, and Acts 18 tells us that when they learn about Apollos, they take him aside and "explained to him the way of God more accurately." In response, Apollos dropped a few f-bombs and told them to mind their own business, he was a man of God, and he didn't need their guidance. Oh, wait, that wasn't Apollos, that's what we do. No, he takes what they have given him, and he preaches. He begins to refute the Jews, publicly, and to preach that Jesus was the Christ.
I love this, primarily because of what it doesn't say. It doesn't say that Priscilla & Aquila publicly rebuked Apollos for preaching before he knew all the facts. It doesn't say they labeled him a false teacher, or that they called him out in any way to the people he had spoken to. It also doesn't say that Apollos hung his head in shame or embarrassment. He had no reason to.
And yet, when faced with the same situation, we fail on both ends of this. We see a brother or sister teaching something that isn't quite right, and we come out with guns blazing. We skip the whole "go to your brother in private" thing, and instead call him out publicly. Very publicly. Like, world wide web, publicly.
On the flip side, when we are approached by a brother or sister the right way, and a concern is presented, we bristle. Our human nature says, "You're being attacked, prepare a defense, quick!" And yet, the Spirit inside of us is whispering in our hearts, "Listen, Child. Be humble, and listen to what your brother is telling you."
I'm twenty seven years old. There is absolutely no way I have all of this figured out. I've told you this, time and again. I am very Calvinist-leaning in my understanding of Scripture. But, I'm not going to get on here and say, "Calvinism is the only way!" No! I'm going to tell you to work out your own faith. Get into the Word for yourself. Get on your own knees, and have your own conversations with God. I'm not going to spoon feed you, because (A) I'm not your momma, and (B) there's a good chance that if I do I'll have to come back to you in a few months and make you regurgitate the misguided crap I fed you.
The same goes for all of us, Friends. We are finite creatures, endeavoring to understand the words and ways of an infinite creator. Do you get that? Our approach to Scripture should always be humble. And for crying out loud, it should always be Spirit-led! Not seminary led. Not preacher led. Not good biblical commentary led. Spirit led! These other things are great tools, but they should never take the place of the one true Guide we have been given.
Here's what I want from you. Join me in this process. Not because I'm infallible, and I have years of Bible knowledge and ministry experience under my belt. Not because I have it all together. Not because I'm just so cool. Because you are my brothers, and my sisters. And that's what we're supposed to do. To walk alongside one another, and figure things out. We'll stumble. We'll fall. We'll probably irritate one another. But that's okay. We'll be much more likely to work it out if we're doing it together.
Iron, does indeed, sharpen iron. If we let it.
Remember, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." - Proverbs 15:1