Are We Teachable?
Paul needed to correct both the Galatians (Galatians 1:6ff) and the Apostle Peter (Galatians 2:11ff). And Paul was in at least some sense significantly schooled by the patience and encouraging spirit of Barnabus (Acts 15:37ff; 2 Timothy 4:11). As Galatians demonstrates, and as every parent knows, sometimes heated words are necessary to keep our kids safe, depending upon the severity of the danger they’re in. But a heated temperament doesn’t indicate a heart on holy fire for the Lord; it reveals a smoldering self-righteousness which takes his name in vain when vented in alleged service to Scripture. It is that posture of heart, especially among religious rulers, which ignited the Lord’s most fiery words against false teachers (Matthew 23:13ff).
The more biblically trained and tempered teachers we all have, and the more teachable we all are, the better. The more willing we are to bear one another’s burdens, to patiently hear one another’s hearts, to speak the truth to one another in love, the more we reveal that we are truly a Spirit-led community, a people who love the risen Christ, have every confidence in his holy word, and every desire that everyone should come to know and be like him.
This is how God designed the covenant community to work. Our churches should be communities of calm, calming confidence in Christ and his word. Such communities are truly safe places for children – and adults, too – because they live by the Spirit in close keeping with the loving, protective heart of our heavenly Father.
This article originally appeared on GentleReformation.com. Used with permission.
Rut Etheridge III Husband to Evelyn; father to Isaiah, Callie, Calvin, Josiah, Sylvia. Geneva College Chaplain. Loves the risen Christ, family, writing, the ocean, martial arts, Boston sports, coffee, more coffee.
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