Sometimes, we know what God’s Word says, but our attitude toward or response to what God means may be wrong. I am thinking about the lawyer who came to Jesus one day. He was rather skilled in the Old Testament Law. When Jesus questioned the man about the Law, he replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27, NASB).
Jesus told the lawyer he had answered correctly and that he should go and do according to the Word of God. The lawyer had no problem with the first part of his own answer, which was to love God. It was the requirement to love your neighbor as yourself that bothered the man.
“Wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus; ‘And who is my neighbor?’” (verse 29). Evidently, the man knew what God’s Word was saying, but he had a different definition of his neighbor than what God intended. He posed the question to Jesus, hoping to justify his restricted meaning of “my neighbor.”
To help the man clearly see the answer to his question, Jesus taught a parable. In effect, Jesus told him his neighbor was not only the people in his immediate “neighborhood.” But also, his neighbor was the person whom he came in contact with and who stood in need, and it was within his power to offer help. When we meet someone in that condition, we should do to the person as we would have someone to do toward us if we were in the person’s shoes.
This was not what the lawyer wanted to hear. He wanted Jesus to justify his errant view. But the purpose of the Word of God is never to justify our wrong way of thinking but to challenge it. That’s why we need to read and hear the Word of God with an open heart. Its objective is to transform our errant way of thinking into the mindset of Christ.
Some people attend church like the lawyer came to Jesus. They want to justify their wrong way of thinking. This may be in the area of race relations, money, marriage, etc. Accordingly, they seek a local church with a preacher that will tell them what they want to hear and not what they need to hear. The purpose of the Word of God is always to do the exact opposite.
Are you readily willing to change the way you think when the Word of God exposes your wrong way of thinking?
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.