For those of you who don't know, I'm a chemistry teacher. And one day one of my students came up to me with a textbook from another class in his hand. He asked me for some help with some of his algebra problems. I thought to myself, "In college I took math all the way up through Calculus III, so I can tackle this baby algebra stuff." He opened his "baby" algebra book and showed me the problem. Uh oh.... I remembered doing this stuff a LONG time ago when I was in high school.... uh.... I couldn't help him at all.
Although it was technically much easier than the math I took in college, I could not help him in the least bit. I hadn't USED that algebra stuff in a long time and so I LOST the ability to use it.
I recall when I first became a chemistry teacher. I didn't know chemistry very well at all, even though I had a degree in it! I first learned chemistry well when I had to teach it; I learned it just a little faster than I had to teach it. (By the way, I ONLY know the aspects of chemistry that I teach. Many people think that since I'm a chemistry teacher that I know all about chemistry, but I only know the stuff that I use.)
Ask yourself: how would you do on an algebra test if you took it right now? Unless you've used algebra recently, you probably wouldn't do that well. OK, so how does this apply to you and me?
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Last night several of us were having a conversation and a brother read the above Scripture. It hit me that we are supposed to DO SOMETHING with the "Word of Christ". We are not told to just let it "dwell" in us, just let it accumulate in our minds, just memorize more Scripture, just keep on learning, etc. We are told to let the Word of Christ dwell in us as we teach and admonish one another. We are supposed to USE the Word in one another's lives. We are supposed to speak the truth in love to one another (Eph. 4). We are supposed to build one another up in our faith! As we USE the Word for the purpose of building up others we will see that we are actually learning and growing more ourselves. And if we don't use it, we will lose it. We will be like someone who has a degree in chemistry but couldn't begin to teach someone else!
And, by the way, "teaching and admonishing one another" doesn't mean that we need a Bible degree and need to become a "pastor" or something. "One another" means that everyone can and should do it for everyone else at grass-roots, daily levels (Heb. 3:13). As I mentioned in yesterday's post, sometimes it means just being there and being available in the "little" things of life. Don't be tempted to look for great ways to "teach" one another.... don't start making your teaching outlines..... but DO start caring more and loving more and desiring to build up the faith and love of those around you. :-)
Heb 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.