Practicing Christianity

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 9

Gold Nugget
Verse 9: 
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

Several ministers were gathered together visiting. Each took turns as they shared what wondrous and marvelous things God was doing in their respective churches. One pastor spoke of the blessed series God had instructed him to preach on for the past month. Another spoke of the abundant knowledge that God had revealed to him, and yet another bragged of how much of the scriptures he could quote in several languages. Week in and week out these ministers would meet and swap stories of how God used them and how successful they were.  Every week there remained one silent participant. It was an elderly man that had long since retired from pastoring. The younger men considered him old and out of touch. Normally not giving him much notice, one day the ministers chimed him in. “Hey old timer”, they said. “You sit there every week and never contribute to our conversation. What gives?” The old man, sat there at the edge of his seat, hat pointing towards the ground with old white knuckled hands gripping firmly around his cane. He spoke with a crackling voice without ever looking up. The brim of his hat still covers his face as he looks down and replies, “I already know what I know; I want to know what you know.” Today's "gold nugget says, Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

The truth is, these younger men had already arrived at their destination. They no longer need instructions. In their minds, they had attained their prime and were “beating their chest” in victory. It’s amazing that we can “arrive” at a level where we no longer need to be instructed. Years ago I went to see my favorite doctor. He's long since passed and was quit old even then, but I’ll never forget what happened in his office one day. After giving me an exam, he confessed that he was at a loss for what was going on with me. He broke out a book and started going though symptoms. He even called another doctor in to get help. I was amazed at how honest he was with what he didn’t know. In the end, his humility pointed him in the right direction and everything turned out fine. Many doctors would have diagnosed the wrong thing before being so transparent. It’s amazing that, because of the complexity and ever learning atmosphere in medicine, it is still considered a “practice”. Even in law, the interpretation of the law is referred to “practicing” law. How ironic is it that the same approach isn’t acknowledged in spiritual and biblical things. In reality, we are “practicing” Christianity. We are like the old man... ever learning… and then learning still.

Lord, I do thank you for the things you have taught me, but want to remain humble enough to learn from those that you have put around me or put me around. Remind me of how much more I need to learn and the paths that will lead me there. Amen

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