If you are anything like me, God help you if you are, you may sometimes have a hard time deciphering if some nugget of wisdom is for you or for someone else. Let me explain. Have you ever sat and listened to a sermon and said, “Wow, Sally really should be here to hear this,”? Or maybe listened to something on the radio, heard something in a conversation, read something in a book or heard something explained to you by a friend or mentor and said, “ I need to tell so and so about this, because it really applies to them,”? If you have done this, then you aren’t alone. I very quickly go into teacher mode and want to take whatever I may be hearing or reading and tell the person that I think needs to work on this particular thing. Have you ever considered that God might be just telling you something? I know, it might be hard to take, because it is for me too. It is much easier to shift the focus on someone else and think about how you could tell someone else about how they are screwing up and you are going to swoop into help them with this great nugget of wisdom. Stay with me now. If every conversation that you have with someone where they are perhaps doing what we are talking about above and you in turn do the same, then nobody would ever receive what it is God was telling them. We just play hot potato with convictions, words of wisdom, scripture, accountability, confessions and opportunities for improvement. As we all play hot potato, none of us are actually ever having to deal with anything! It’s pretty ingenious really! It feels so much better to simply pass the buck!
The next nugget of wisdom you receive, I challenge you, don’t tell anyone about it! Nobody! In fact as you are receiving it, don’t even think about anyone else that the particular thing might relate to. God might actually be trying to tell YOU something! Yes, I am joining you in this journey. If you preach or teach in any context this will be especially hard because we seem to always be looking for the next sermon illustration, but resist the urge!
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. - Hebrews 5:11-14, 6:1-3
And so our purpose is to grow in Christ. We need to be concerned with our own growth or we will never be helpful to anyone else.