Tripping on Hurdles
Verse 2b I wanted to make sure that we were in agreement, for fear that all my efforts had been wasted and I was running the race for nothing.
We have been discussing how doubt can trip us up and how we need to keep our focus on God. Paul was known for his great missionary journeys and his teaching through his letters some of which became a large portion of the New Testament. But in today’s key verse we see that Paul wasn’t immune to doubt.
Paul is thought of as a giant of the faith and rightly so but he was also human. His fear was that he had been misleading people with his teaching. He understood the need to clarify what he was thinking and teaching with those who he considered more knowledgeable about things of the faith. Paul also knew the need to be humble and to subject himself to correction if it was needed.
Sometimes our doubts aren’t the only hurdle in our spiritual lives. Sometimes our pride acts as a hurdle and is a reminder that our focus, and therefore our worship, has slipped from its rightful place. We are running along and because we became focused on our steps we miss that we are headed to a hurdle in life. As Paul showed in today’s reading he knew to keep his focus in line with Jesus’ teaching, he needed to compare what he was teaching with the known teachings of Jesus. Jesus’ disciples were the men to help him measure to the standard.
Later in today’s passage we see that holding each other to the standard of Christ’s teaching went both ways. Not only did Paul need to be humble and ask for clarification but Peter had to be humble to accept Paul’s correction in his life too. Remember, doubt isn’t the only hurdle in the life of a God worshiper. Peter and Paul also knew the importance of humility in our spiritual life. They knew that we need to do life together to make the most of the ministry. If we aren’t willing to humble ourselves and come together to study the scriptures together we will miss some of the deepest growth we can gain the Christian life. When we walk in doubt or pride we miss the opportunity to help each other along the journey. We need each other. Come, let us worship together.
Making It Personal
Have you ever gone to another Christian and asked if you were understanding a spiritual truth correctly? Have you ever had someone come to you to ask for understanding? We need all need to be learning from others and trying to help others learn; who are those people in your life?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you like to ask questions to learn more? Do you like to help others learn more? Jesus wants us to learn from others and to help others learn. Can you think of who you can learn from and someone you can help learn?
Father, thank You for building us for community. Give us wisdom on who to ask for clarification and who to offer truth to. Deepen our knowledge of You. In Jesus’ name, amen.