I hate to be wrong. I am very quick to challenge any implication that I am wrong. I will research diligently to prove my point. I learned that this behavior is one aspect of my Control Temperament: Choleric. Choleric people tend to be right. That’s one reason some people do not like them. People grow weary a know-it-all.
This is relatively new information for me. My wife, Martha, is a certified pastoral counselor, with a degree to prove it! She has tried to help me over the years to understand that, just because I know the answer, not everyone wants to hear it. I am just the opposite. If someone knows the answer to my question I want to hear it. I love to learn. I love discovery, but I also love shared knowledge.
I mentioned a little about me to give you some background for this post. I have recently had an epiphany. It has not come easily, but I’m glad that I learned it now, at 54, rather than finding out at 75. I have come to realize that I don’t know everything. Specifically, I don’t even know as much as I thought I knew about my God, and His Kingdom.
I’ve been on a journey for at least 3 years of looking at everything I believe with new eyes. My friend, Ed Chinn, has just published a book called “New Eyes for a New World.” I recommend it. It will help you think in new ways. Another book that I read recently is by Matthew B. Redmond, called “The God of the Mundane”, another that I highly recommend. These, along with several others, have challenged me to look at everything a second time. Go back and find out WHY you believe what you do, not just debunk everything that is not in agreement with WHAT you believe.
The latest milestone on this journey came yesterday. After reading a recommended blog entry by Rachel Held Evans (rachelheldevans.com/blog) I replied with this:
“Interesting times in the Body right now. I'm beginning to feel like a man without a ‘country’. I'm beginning to get a glimpse of what the Lord was saying to the angel at Laodicea. I have numbered myself with them, but I'm trying to break free.”
After writing that in a rather off-the-cuff manner, mainly because I liked the self-righteous sound of it, I started looking deeper into Laodicea. I found something interesting, and convicting.
When you look at the Greek, in which I am not a scholar, I found that 2 words were used to form Laodicea. The first is laos which simply means “people.” The second word is dike (pronounced dee’-kay) which means “right, or just.”
One could draw from this definition that the people there were self-righteous. They justified their position, behavior, or beliefs concerning spiritual matters. The Lord spoke to them and said, "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'; and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” (Revelation 4:17-18 NKJV)
One of the greatest problems with deception is the fact that you are deceived. You cannot see the deception because you believe you are right. It has taken 3 years, and counting, but I believe the walls of my stubbornness are beginning to crack, allowing the amazing light of God’s glory and truth to invade my world in ways I have not experienced in a long time.
Just so you know, I’m not talking about “sin”, necessarily. I never have walked away from the Lord, or pursued other gods. I have simply allowed the light (little “l”) of my wisdom and knowledge to be enough for me, instead of letting the Light (big “l”) show me how to live my life.
I’m not speaking as one that has arrived, simply as one who is in pursuit of the One whom I love, and that loves me.
One final thought about Laodicea. According to scripture there was an epistle written by Paul to the Laodiceans. He mentions it in Colossians 4:16: “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.”
Wouldn’t you love to have read what Paul wrote to these folks? I know I sure would.