Have you ever had one of those conversations that made you question all you were doing? In the snap of a finger, you go from knowing that you are doing what you know to do to wondering if you are even who you think you are.
You walk away dizzy, confused, and more than a little dismayed.
The more you grow in who you are the easier it is to avoid these traps or to recover when you do get caught.
“Who are you learning from?” He asked the question to push me into honoring a name or position. He asked the question to challenge where I was. He asked the question to make me question myself.
“I learn from the Bible.” I responded. It was not meant to be smart. It was an honest answer. Even when I attend studies, classes, or services, I still look to the Bible for my answers.
I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t encouraged to dig in and find it for myself. “Don’t take their word for it.” My dad would challenge me. “God to the Source.”
This Source directed technique worked out well in college while attending a dorm room study group. We had a mixed bag of attendees: a Southern Baptist, a lapsed Catholic, a Church of Christ, an Episcopalian, an agnostic, and an atheist that wanted to sit in for the show.
Because we came from so many different backgrounds, we had one rule. If you wanted to bring something up then you had to be able to point it out in Scripture. It made dig into the Word in a whole new way.
Go to the Source became my mantra. I began to put it to work in ordinary life as well. When a story would pop up into my feed then I would start digging to try and find the source. I learned a lot and a lot of what I learned was not to pass on a story that comes at me through my social feed.
When I was asked who I’m learning from, I was honest. I invest time every day into the Word – learning it for myself and sharing with others what I learn.
You have to be open to what others have to say, but you have to learn for yourself.
How to Learn
Read it – take time to read the actual words. When it comes to Scripture, go to what is being discussed and read the words (as well as those words around it). When it comes to life, go to the beginning of the story (if you can find the original story in the original paper go there – and read the comments of folks closest to the story).
Talk it through – talk with others about what you are thinking or what you uncover, not in a way of trying to convince them. Talk with them to genuinely share what you have learned.
Think it over – don’t jump on the bandwagon just to hitch a ride. Don’t join in the parade just to be a part of it. Stop. Think it over. Weight the value. Consider what works for you and what falls on the side of your place and purpose.
Know it for yourself – even if everyone else says it that doesn’t mean it’s true. Let what others say be your beginning, not your end.
One of the joking responses you’ll hear around our house is “prove it.” When you offer up a bit of information then someone will likely want you to show your source to prove your point.
It’s a good condition to live by. Know it for yourself. Prove it (if only for yourself). Dig down and know the Source.
It will make a difference.