Where, or to whom, do you turn for spiritual teaching? Do you know how to discern a true teacher from a false one?
In our Christian culture today, we are incredibly blessed. Most of us in the US have the Scriptures at our fingertips and we are literate enough to read them for ourselves. Additionally, the market is flooded with resources for Christians who want to grow in their understanding of the Christian faith and in their relationship with God. There are books, Bible studies, blogs, podcasts, radio, small spiritual retreats, and mega-events that fill stadiums. In most cities, there are so many churches it can be overwhelming to choose which one to attend.
The problem is not a lack of voices. The problem is learning to discern which voices to listen to. Jesus says that false teachers seem innocent and harmless, like sheep. But their intentions are evil, like wolves that seek to devour. Teaching that leads people away from Christ is not harmless.
So how can you choose resources that will help you grow in your faith? First, pray. Ask God to give you wisdom. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask of God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given you.” Ask God to guide you in your selection of a home church and Biblical resources for you and your family.
Second, turn to the Word and read your Bible for yourself. The more you know what the Bible says, the less likely you are to follow teaching that is not biblical. In John 10:27, Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” You must be able to discern His voice amidst all the others or you will be easily led astray.
Finally, Jesus said you will know them by their fruit. That means that a teacher's life should match their words. Good teachers are not perfectly sinless, but they are consistently and humbly seeking to live out the words that they are teaching others by living upright, godly lives. Examine the teachers that you are listening to and make sure their teaching and their lifestyles line up with the Word of God. Make sure the voices you listen to are bearing good fruit.
God, I want to know you more. Please give me discernment and wisdom as I seek out Biblical resources to help me grow in my relationship with you. I want to hear Your voice above all others. Amen.
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