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Last night, I was thinking about all the great pieces of advice I’ve received over the years from wise older preachers. Then I realized, there are a lot of preachers on Facebook and Twitter, with whom I am friends. I could ask them what was the best advice anyone had ever given them about preaching. Before long, I had received over 50 priceless comments (on Facebook and Twitter) from fellow preachers.

That’s when it dawned on me, most of us really are wasting a very valuable tool. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is extremely powerful. Through it, we can communicate with people all over the world. But, most of us use this tool simply to vent our frustrations and voice our opinions. The Word of God says, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion” (Proverbs 18:2).

If you use social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), why not use it to grow in your knowledge and understanding. Here are a few tips.

1. Ask questions. Instead of posting statements all the time, try posting some questions. Ask people for resources, ideas, thoughts, even Scripture. Don’t overwhelm them, but occasionally you can use the collective knowledge of your online friends to grow in your knowledge and understanding.

2. Choose your friends wisely. The quality of feedback you receive depends on how discerning you are about choosing your friends in the first place (remember 1 Corinthians 15:33).

3. Examine everything you read in light of Scripture, like the Jews in Berea (Acts 17:11).

Unfortunately, these tools can be abused and there are certainly some inherent dangers associated with them. However, if we will learn to use them wisely, I believe they can help us learn and grow. Let me leave you with one more passage from Proverbs, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).

I love you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams

It is amazing to me, when teaching the Bible, how often I hear phrases like this, “Well, I just don’t believe that.” With no more explanation than that, people dismiss new ideas and concepts. And they are surprised their faith isn’t growing.

Here’s the secret, are you ready? When you are not willing to entertain the possibility you may be wrong about what you believe, it is impossible for you to grow in your faith! When you hear a new idea and quickly dismiss it, saying, “I just don’t believe that,” you will never learn anything new and you will never grow.

You must allow yourself and your beliefs to be challenged. If you want to grow in faith, you must continually ask questions like:

  1. What biblical truth do I need to learn that I don’t already know?
  2. What biblical truth contradicts what I believe?
  3. What biblical truth contradicts how I’m living?

In order to find the answers to these questions, you will have to listen to ideas and concepts in which you don’t believe. Then, you will have to ask, “Why don’t I believe that?” Do you not believe that because of what your parents taught you? Do you not believe that because you simply don’t want to have to live that way? Or do you not believe that because it is not true?

When you hear a new concept or idea, do what the noble Jews of Berea did, “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Paul was preaching something new. If they had simply said, “Well, I don’t believe that,” they would have never obeyed the gospel and received salvation.

Instead, they were willing to entertain the possibility that their faith was wrong. They neither rejected nor accepted Paul’s teaching at face value; they simply examined the Scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true. When they found that his teaching was true, many of them abandoned their previously held beliefs and held fast to this newly found truth (Acts 17:12).

Are you willing to do the same thing? Are you willing to hear new ideas and concepts that challenge you and contradict what you believe to be true? Are you willing to neither accept nor reject what you hear until you have examined it in light of Scripture? And if you determine that what you have heard is true, are you willing to abandon your beliefs in favor of Truth?

That is the challenge. That is the only way we will grow in our faith.

I love you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams

 

 

P.S. What truth do you now hold dear that at one time you adamantly opposed? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.