"So I Just Read Proverbs 13, And It Made NO Sense To Me... HELP!!! The Bible Is So Good Yet So Confusing!"
- a young friend on Facebook
I smiled when I read my young friend's plea for guidance this morning. She's fresh out of high school, on the verge of stepping out into the world where she will have to make so many decisions for herself. She's a smart, beautiful and delightful young woman.
And she typed for all her friends to see, "HELP!"
Of course I felt a little awkward responding to her plea. Who am I to assume that I know the answers? All of her friends would also see me offering a reply. Would I look like a know-it-all? Would they assume me to be arrogant?
I prayed for guidance and typed her a simple response that would lead her to discover truth on her own.
"You might want to try reading Proverbs 13 herehttp://bit.ly/1kp0VSH in the Message version. It makes it a little simpler to understand. Take each verse on its own. Proverbs are maxims or wise sayings. They are not promises; but are generally or almost always true. Each verse in Proverbs 13 stands alone as a wise saying that we should consider when making life choices. One action results in good things; the other in our demise. See if that helps..."
I wasn't sure that was what she was looking for, and I was still nervous about the perceptions of others. But how could I let this opportunity for growth slip by? And, according to the Facebook status, she had posted her desperate cry for help 13 hours ago, and no one had responded as of yet.
I admit, I was a little relieved when she responded to my reply, just minutes later with:
"Thank You So Much! (: "
And then I thought of you...my blog friends. The Lord used this little unexpected situation to put two questions on my mind for you.
- What do you do when you read something in God's Word that you don't understand? Do you ask God for help? Do you seek guidance from someone you respect, someone whose life indicates they follow God's teachings? Or do you brush aside the mystery, allowing confusion and lack of knowledge to mound into destructive fortresses of doubt?
- What do you do when someone asks you about a teaching in the Bible? Do you get flustered and send them elsewhere? Do you simply offer them "what it says to me?" Or do you prayerfully consider how to give the seeker truth, biblical counsel and even tools for sound, responsible study on their own?
Trust me, I'm not preaching to you here. I've ignorantly skipped over many passages I should have delved further into. And I've gulped with fear when questioned about difficult doctrines or hard sayings of Jesus, rambling through my response with little confidence and looking for a quick exit. Maybe I was able to handle my young friend's question this morning simply because I could take my time with it and she wasn't sitting across the table from me.
But I'd like to challenge you and me alike with one word today:
We need to be brave enough to ask...
brave enough to answer when given the opportunity.
Brave enough to ask...Because life and death are in the balance. Because God wants us not to be ignorant, but to know. Because He has revealed Himself to us and wants to be known. Because you are meant to grow and thrive and live with freedom. Because the Bible tells us that with the help of the Holy Spirit we can understand His Word.
Brave enough to asnwer...Because He has equipped you and promised to give you the words to say. Because He is gracious enough to fill in the gaps when we leave holes in our answers. Because people are in search of a little hope, some truth to stand on, answers. Because it matters.
Lord, make us brave. Give us the gumption to ask questions when we are confused. And give us the courage to answer when we have learned and others are seeking. Make us brave.
Labels: Bible study, courage, mentoring