Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.   II Timothy 4:2 NIV

I belong to the God who said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.”
He is Truth—but the wisdom He gives comes slow. I have many more questions than answers. I have a foundation of knowledge for forming questions, for judging whether answers fit with truths I already know—but when I’m surprised by an unexpected challenge from someone who just wants to argue, I go blank.
Last week I told a teenager her opinion wasn’t backed up by Scripture. She stared at me with blind certainty. “Well, I believe it, and that’s that.”  
It’s sophomoric arrogance (Greek sophos "wise" + moros "foolish, dull"; literally "arguer".) to believe that your belief of something makes it true. If you’ve been a teenager and lived through it, then you can make your own judgment call about that.
After she left, a question popped into my head: “Do you study these things out for yourself, or do you get them predigested?”
Someone else’s truth isn’t your truth until you’ve thought it through for yourself. Anybody can tell you anything.
One who overwhelms a weaker speaker with rudeness and volume doesn’t necessarily have the truth—but if you don’t think for yourself, you’ll believe the most persuasive one by default.
Simply having silenced the other person doesn’t mean you’ve right, and it doesn’t mean you’ve converted them to your viewpoint. If that was your aim, you’ve failed. But very often the aim of such people seems not to educate or build up, but simply to silence their “opponent” and chalk up another debate contest win.   
Note to the pushy ones: “You can feel like you’ve won your argument—but you cannot convince someone of your truth without listening to their truth, their confusion, their sticking points, and answering their questions to their satisfaction."
As much as I'd like to, I can share nothing with those who make dialogue a competition. You’re God’s problem. He's never at a loss for words.
Avi, when things like this happen, I pray “Give me another chance to say this to them.” What I should be asking, what I ask now, is that You help me to speak in season and out. In Your holy name, Amen.





















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