God wants us to know as much about him as we are capable of learning. If we trust that his Spirit will help us to be discerning, there is no learning we ought to avoid. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
I had opportunity recently to sit down to lunch with someone, a sister in Christ, who had opportunity to read my book, Madstone or Perfect Pearl. We chatted a bit and she pushed the book back across the table between plates to me. “Why did you write this book?” She asked. There was sincerity in the question, so I answered that I wrote the book to get a better understanding of what it means to be engaged in consistent worship. Another purpose was to discover a better understanding of my role as an abiding Christian, one curious about God and longing for a deeper relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She smiled, nodded and then confided in me that she had read only a few chapters and then decided to return the book to me. “I couldn’t finish it. You talk about things in the book that are new and strange to me. I guess I’m not looking for that kind of knowledge. There’s a certain level of understanding I’m comfortable with, and really don’t want to delve beyond that level.” I smiled and gently moved the book from my table to my nearby briefcase. The subject was tabled, so to speak.
When I wrote that book I sincerely hoped that I had written it in a clear style, not overly simple, yet touching on scholarly where appropriate. I knew that some who read it would debate it, some find comfort and hope, and still others left with questions that needed answering. The one thing I hadn’t anticipated was fear of knowing at all what might be learned.
Here’s a story. Burghardt DuBois, the great black educator, sociologist, and historian, upon completion of studies at Fisk, Harvard and the University of Berlin, was convinced that change in the condition of the American blacks could be effected by careful scientific investigations into the truth about the blacks in America. So he proceeded. His research was flawless and his graphs and charts impeccable. After waiting several years and hearing not the slightest stir of reform, Dr. DuBois had to accept the truth about Truth: Its being available does not mean it will be appropriated. (Fred B. Craddock)
I’ve always been driven to know what I do not yet know; be that the sciences I’ve never studied or the theology I am constantly researching. There have been moments when I discover something that complicates the consistency of my thought comfort zone, even times when something I learn contradicts something I thought I knew thoroughly and without question believed. These moments have given me pause; they have even caused me to retrace what I thought to be the truth and now must question. And, yes, there were the times when I simply refused to translate what I learned and allow that knowledge to change what I believed. Such is the nature of knowledge. Nevertheless, I can’t imagine a life without the opportunity to learn something new. Unfortunately, not everyone is on that same page. My Christian friend did not want to be there. As soon as she began to touch knowledge that she was uncomfortable with, she withdrew. Like a man with a beautiful yacht who can never bring himself to go beyond the breakwater for fear of a wave, she wanted to stay anchored in only what she knew and not what she might also know. God, I believe, wants us to know as much about him as we are capable of learning. If we trust that his Spirit will guide that knowledge, helping us to be discerning about it, there is no learning we ought to avoid. You and I were never meant to be anchored for life, protected from knowing more. Appropriate the truth so that your thinking might be reformed to knowing all you can know about Christ! Set sail and don’t be afraid.
We pray. Thank you Lord for provisioning us with your Word to give us a knowledge base in Christ that is always fresh, always empowering and forever growing. Help us Lord to boldly confront our faith with as much knowledge as we can amass in such a short lifetime. May we never be afraid t
o set sail in search of new ideas that may lead us to a broader truth of the Truth. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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