Recently, I was in Church and heard the priest encourage the sitting congregation to give in support of the out-reaches of the church, but also to give with the expectation to receive, for it written, “Give and it shall be given unto you…” Mr. Preacher-man, thank you for teaching me how to give. I am grateful. But how about you teach me how to receive as well! Because you see, teaching a people how to give without teaching them how to receive is very unbalanced because in the end, they’ll have nothing left to give. Especially since the giving and the receiving are more or less in the same text. If you will teach one, you surely are going to have to teach the other. You see, as a preacher, you plan your sermon. You prepare your message, then you step up and deliver it. But are you showing me a plan, a preparation for me to receive? Because surely the individual doing the giving and the one doing the receiving are the same person. So now that you taught me how to give, how about you also teach me how to receive?!
The church today has been caught up in a ‘lack of balance’ kind of trap. We are taught ‘one-sidedness’ and we are also taught to blindly follow. We are taught to receive instruction without question. We are taught to hearken, heed and obey. But is he really a teacher who doesn’t give room for question? Is he really a teacher who doesn’t receive feedback from the student? Is he really a teacher who doesn’t have means to review the progress of the student? Is he really a teacher?
Is the congregation really being taught or told?
You see, God never expects us to blindly follow. Jesus said he came that the blind may receive sight. He told a church in Revelations to ‘anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.’
The same God who expects us to hearken, heed and obey has always encouraged man to ask; to “come let us reason together”; to interact with Him; to inquire of Him.
Paul encouraged Timothy to be ready to give an answer concerning the faith that he had; to be instant in and out of season.
This is what the church should be. A place of answers. Any place of answers is also by default a place of questions. Because for every answer there is a question. But for every question, Jesus is the answer.
So the house of God should be for instruction, for teaching and for growth ’till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.’
This is my take on teaching in the house of God. That being said, I know that the Bible mentions that the things God has kept to himself are his, but those revealed to us are for our children and our children’s children. So there are some questions to which the answer isn’t known. But these questions should still be asked because ‘it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the honor of kings to search it out.’
In the end, I simply encourage balance in our delivery. There is always a flip side of the coin. You might want to address that as well.
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