Last week was a week of learning for me. Relationships kept coming to mind where so often, no matter what was said, they had done nothing wrong. I remembered how sometimes people convince themselves they are always right in most, if not all, matters. There is nothing that can be said to convince them otherwise. This makes for rough relationships. Conversations are beyond limited and there can be no trust. Any communication with them feels more like running a marathon with no runner’s high ever coming.
This becomes a bigger problem when it is about Scripture. You cannot simply believe everything someone says because they “prove it” with Scripture. I can take just about any subject and pick and choose verses to back it up. That doesn’t necessarily make what I say correct. It is important to know the Bible and to never stop learning. If someone is saying something that doesn’t sound quite right, research it and learn all you can about the subject to make sure what they are teaching is Truth. Also, prayerfully stand on the knowledge you have gained and do not agree just so there are not disagreements.
When someone honestly believes they are above reproof in Scriptural matters, no matter what advice they give you, in their minds, it is correct and to disagree gets labeled as abuse, disrespect or that you are going against God. When they believe that whatever they say is the ultimate Godly advice, to not accept it, in their mind, is a reflection of how far away from God you are. If anyone tries to tell you everything they say is correct and they quote Scripture to supposedly support it, beware. Be especially concerned if they tell you they listen to no other teachers but what Jesus teaches them. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus is the ultimate Teacher, but we also learn from each other. My friends and Bible study ladies share things we have learned. We can compare what they say with the Bible and often it is simply sharing how we read Scripture and it paints a picture of God that is so vivid and memorable. That’s what God wants us to do. That’s what His disciples did after He was gone. They were led by the Holy Spirit, but they supported, taught and corrected each other and, like iron sharpening iron, they grew stronger in their faith and knowledge.
It is also important to know that just because someone is older than you, it doesn’t automatically mean they are always right. Spiritual age does not work the same way chronological age does. I have met high school students who were so spiritually mature. They had soaked up so much and were hungry for more. There is a certain maturity and wisdom that comes from age, but it isn’t the only criteria. I have been told things by elders and deacons of churches that were nowhere near biblical. The Bible does say over and over to respect your elders, but that doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. The Bible also states to “not let anyone look down on you because of your youth” but to set an example by how you live ( see 1 Timothy 4:12). This doesn’t mean you can’t quote Scripture. Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16), but if it is distorted by those who use Scripture to prove points that are different from what the complete Bible teaches, they will do so to their own destruction (see 2 Peter 3:14-18). Worst yet, they lead others astray as well.
Jesus is the only perfect Person Who walked on this earth. He will remain the only One until He comes back. We are called to be perfect as well, but it’s not something we’ll ever fully accomplish with our human limits and it is definitely nothing we can ever do on our own in any area of our lives. Instead, this is a call to seek God and grow in His wisdom, relying more and more on Him so we are a clearer reflection of Who He is. We can never take these verses and try to claim we are perfect.
We can also never get to the point where we believe we are the only one who really hears God correctly and anyone who doesn’t agree with us is a lesser Christian. That is how every cult that ever was and ever will be formed began. The leader states that God has spoken to them directly and given only them information and insight. No one has all the information about God. To be able to fully understand God is not possible. If my simple human mind could completely understand Him, He wouldn’t be much of a God to serve. He’s all-powerful, all-knowing and always present.
He’s it. It all goes back to God. Period. Not any one human being knows everything or has the complete inside scoop. If they tell you otherwise…run.
~ Joanna Lynn