When I was much younger (in years and in the faith), I was involved in a Christian online forum. Since many of the people who frequented that forum were even younger than I was, I became a person who was an “authority.” I hesitate to use that word, because I always viewed it as service, not expertise.
Many of these people were wrestling with significant doctrinal issues and I would often feel compelled to try and answer all their questions. You can imagine how overwhelming this was, but it also led me to a place where I began to feel I needed to be right about everything. To be able to give an airtight explanation that would leave them feeling more satisfied and confident in their Christian faith.
Unfortunately this often led to quite a bit of disagreement. Fortunately God corrected me and gave me the perspective that:
1) I do not have to have all the right answers ALL the time!
2) There are corrections He must make that I cannot.
3) Knowing how to pick your battles is not a cliche, it is a mark of wisdom and increasing maturity.
Photo credit: hrringleader.com
Right now there’s an important person in my life who is facing a highly difficult situation. He is very disquieted and is struggling greatly. I authentically do not know what he should do. And I have told him this. There’s a part of me that isn’t satisfied that I cannot provide a clear, scripturally and theologically accurate answer. But there’s also a part of me that sees with no uncertainty that it is his decision to make.
In the sense of the decision, it is his walk with the Lord and his testing of faith. I have asked questions, listened, counseled to some extent, encouraged him to seek God’s way for the decision, but never told him what to do. In the end, as I have told him, whatever he decides, right or wrong, God will ultimately redeem and God will ultimately correct (if necessary). And God will never leave him or forsake him as His child simply because of a mistake. [cf. Deut. 31:6]
Though this is his storm, it is about both of us. More importantly, it is about Christ.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. [Phil. 1:6 ESV]
…the LORD will fulfill his purpose for me… [Ps. 138:8 ESV]