1 Corinthians 10:15 (Don’t Take My Word For It)

dont take my word for it

You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. (1 Corinthians 10:15)

Read: Nehemiah 11:1-12:26, 1 Corinthians 10:14-33, Psalm 34:11-22, Proverbs 21:14-16

Relate: The greatest theologian of the twentieth century was Karl Barth. Some might argue this. Personally, my favorite was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but that has more to do with his life and death than it does with his theology (which I also do love). Some people might say Paul Tillich or Rudolph Bultmann. Others of a more practical bent might throw out names like AW Tozer or CS Lewis. Nope. Karl Barth was head and shoulders above all of these. I am not biased at all. It’s just the truth.

Near the end of his life, Barth wrote a book that comes fairly close to an autobiography. It isn’t a very known book because it isn’t truly an autobiography but at the same time it isn’t theology like his Church Dogmatics or The Epistle to the Romans (His two most famous writings). This book was rather a summary of how what he believed changed over time. It was appropriately titled, How I Changed My Mind.

React: Can you imagine the humility it must have taken for someone who at that point was universally recognized as the most influential living theologian and one of the greatest ever to write a book about all the ways he was wrong? It makes me wonder, if twenty years from now I come back and read some of what I am writing today, how often will I just shake my head and say, “what was I thinking?”

What scares me even more is that I might look back twenty years from now and completely agree with everything I am writing. Why does that scare me? It will say that in twenty years I have not grown. I have not learned. I have not changed. I can guarantee that some of what I write is wrong. It is imperfect. It is flawed. Hopefully less now than when I first started writing devotionals back in those Myspace days. Hopefully less in twenty years than now. But still… don’t take my words as scripture. Only the word of God is authoritative. If you disagree with me, good. You’re probably right. I pray that you learn from me and grow closer to God because of my efforts, but I also pray that you follow Paul’s wisdom even more: “You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I say is true.” Don’t take my word for it.

Respond: 

God, I’m sorry. For all the things I have and said and written that are just plain wrong, I’m sorry. For all the ways I continue to thing and speak and write things that are still wrong, I am sorry. Don’t let me stop learning. Don’t let me stop growing. Give me the humility to always continue to recognize the ways I have fallen short. Give me the strength and courage to acknowledge it and change. Let me ever walk closer to You and as I walk further and further from those errors and mistakes of my past I pray that You would continue to work through me, in spite of me.

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10 thoughts on “1 Corinthians 10:15 (Don’t Take My Word For It)

  1. In total agreement with your sentiments. I pray about what I write, but since I am a flawed imperfect person, I may not always get it right, but my heart is to please God and I’m thankful for His love and using me, even if it only stirs people up to seek Him for themselves.

  2. BJj, I appreciate your humility and honesty. Yes, we’re ALL flawed. Desperately so. And when it is discovered that the things I’ve written or said are proven wrong, I hope I can have the genuine humility of Karl Barth to not only admit it, but to recognize that we are all on a journey of growth and discovery, accompanied by the Holy Spirit, cherished and enjoyed by the One who made us. Thanks for this insight.

  3. BJ, I appreciate your humility and honesty. Yes, we’re ALL flawed. Desperately so. And when it is discovered that the things I’ve written or said are proven wrong, I hope I can have the genuine humility of Karl Barth to not only admit it, but to recognize that we are all on a journey of growth and discovery, accompanied by the Holy Spirit, cherished and enjoyed by the One who made us. Thanks for this insight.

  4. I confessed to my spiritual mentor a while back that I once had a tendency to be a spiritual bully. MY thinking has changed over the years as well. God “softened” me. Helped me to see how much I must stay teachable. I wonder if you have also heard of a book by (not the greatest theologian) Steve Brown, “What Was I Thinking? Things I’ve Learned Since I Knew It All.” Brown is so transparent, I couldn’t help myself. I’ve read it three times.
    Thanks for your continuing honesty and use of your own life and scripture to teach.

  5. My ex-husband is an avowed pagan and makes fun of my faith in Christ. I found a small plaque in the sale bin at Hobby Lobby and gave it to him as a joke gift and it says “I agree with myself.” Self is a misleading entity when it is apart from the soul and apart from Christ. All my life, I wanted to publish a book. That was my only goal. Then I did. Then I was born again and God told me to take that book off Amazon, and I obeyed. Why? I did NOT agree with some things my “self” has put in writing in that book. My plaque would say the same. My “self” (spirit) is now being taught by God’s Spirit and the Spirit of Christ: I have holy tutors! So, yes, we will disagree with our “selves” until we are pure and holy, with God, like silver being purified. Holy Spirit gives us the discernment to know what to keep and what to discard! Are we not blessed to have an entity who knows all telling us what little we really know, then telling us the truth as we can handle it? Wow!!!!! Nice post and thanks for sharing.

  6. Pingback: Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio | Stepping Toes

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