11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119 verse 11*
An athlete gets better when an adversary is at his or her heels. This is when all the long hours of practice come in.
A musician gets better with every note he or she plays. The long hours of going over the same song are what separates a great musician to the rest of the average ones.
The top performers in their fields have a few things in common:
1. Great coaches or mentors.
2. Great discipline.
3. Surround themselves with people who will keep them accountable to reach their goals.
But when all is said and done, the exceptional performers in any field are those that take what they have learned from everyone and make it their own. They take the information whether good or bad and learn from it to get better.
So too for a Christian. Over the years, and this trend seems to get trendier, I have seen people go from quoting scripture they have read over their Bibles to citing such and such a pastor. Pastor so and so says this or Rabbi person said that.
This is what I hear after someone tells me about a pastor. I am exaggerating for the sake of making the point:
Person: “Dude, you I just learned something in scripture that blew me away!”
Me: Excited to hear that my friend is reading their Bible, “Great, what was it?”
Person: “Pastor so and so said……wow dude….that was some learning!”
Me: Flat-lining and already closed up at the words, pastor so and so said this…The rest I hear is like the noise of the conversations the adults had with the Peanuts characters**.
Don’t get me wrong., When I read something someone posted or a great Christian from the past quotes something, I will pass this on. But this should be a rare thing.
But…when I hear someone regularly quoting someone else about what the Bible says, I close up.
I then will proceed to ask:
1. I stop the person and ask, what does the Bible say about that?
2. Or, what did that verse mean to you?
3. Or if their allotment of pastor quotes has reached its limit I will ask them,”What has God told you about the scripture. I don’t want to hear what someone else thinks but how this Bible verse or chapter spoke to you about.”
You see, like those top performing people in their fields, only those Christians who go through the basics every day with prayer, worship and personal reading of God’s Word will function better in life.
Only those Christians who learn from their mentors, practice with their teammates and learn from the grueling practices of long study and prayer with God, will ever reach a point of personally growing in their walk.
So next time, before you start quoting someone else’s insights, ask yourselves this:
1. What did I learn from that scripture?
2. How does this affect my life personally?
3. How can I use it to reach those that have not heard of the saving grace of Jesus?
(John, the apostle tells us that as Christians we have an anointing from the Holy Spirit, who teaches us all things.*** All you have to do is ask God to give you the wisdom to know His Word and what He is teaching us through it.****)
If you do this, you and I will have a profound and mutually beneficial conversation. It is then when I will take what you have learned and use it in my Christian life…