“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2Timothy 3:14-17 HCSB
Preface: This verse actually popped up in my children’s lesson a few Wednesday nights ago. That set it rolling around in my brain. God has had it on simmer for the past weeks, allowing me to draw some amazing things from it. Speaking its lessons to my heart.
How often do you wear your “steel-toed boots” to church? You know what I mean…the imaginary armor you put on after a few weeks of the preacher’s words stepping on your toes. It’s so easy to become exhausted of sermons stomping our toes into the ground. You may even be tempted to ask your pastor to give your toes a break once and a while. Ever been there? I have.
You know what friend? Don’t be tempted to ask your pastor to “tickle your ears.” There are warnings against that. Paul specifically warns Timothy of this just a few verses later:
“I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom: Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Prayerfully, if your pastor is truly seeking God’s will, he/she will not listen to your counsel anyway.
We are human. We don’t like to be told we’re wrong in any way. It hurts. It makes us uncomfortable. It often makes us angry. We may want to lash out. We may want to withdraw. There are many ways we respond to rebuke or correction.
When your pastor or teachers are teaching the Words of God in truth*, friends they’re fulling God’s will for them. If those words from scripture stomp on your sensitive toes…LET IT! That usually means that you need it. I know that is the case with me. When something my hubby preaches just pierces me to the core, I know it’s time to get with God and do a check-up! (Not always willingly…I have been known to throw a toddler tantrum or two.)
God’s truth can hurt as well as encourage. I’ve heard messages in the past that I found incredibly encouraging only to be told by a friend how much it stomped her toes, and vice versa.
Let’s take those old steel-toed boots and toss them in the trash! Let’s allow God’s Word to pierce our hearts and stomp our toes! Only then, when we’ve been taught, rebuked, corrected, & trained will we be complete & equipped for the work He has prepared for us.
*Please be aware that there are “teachers” and “pastors” who do not teach the Word in truth but in twisted versions of the scriptures. I encourage you to study the scriptures & hold them accountable.