“Listen to what is wise and try to understand it”.
Prov 2:2 GNB
Aprofessor of theology, in an attempt to get his audience’s attention, began his lecture in a rather flippant way. “There are many creeds for Christians to express and articulate their belief. One is the Athanasian Creed. It begins, ‘I believe in God the Father incomprehensible, God the Son incomprehensible, and God the Holy Spirit incomprehensible. In fact, he said, “the whole darn lot’s incomprehensible”. There are many problems and pitfalls in trying to understand the Christian faith. But each believer must do his or her best to understand as much of the faith as they are able. It is wise to know what you believe and why you believe it .
The author of Proverbs – it might well have been King Solomon – instructed his readers to try to understand what they were being taught in the form of ancient wisdom. It was practical wisdom – we might call it “worldly wise-ness”, rather than heavy academic theology. It was on how to get about in this topsy-turvy world with evil lurking at every street corner to trap the gullible. “Don’t only learn what your faith is” says the teacher, “Try to understand it as well”. The apostle Paul urged his assistant apostles to get to know all they could about what they were preaching and teaching. To Timothy he said, “Do your best to win full approval in God’s sight, as a worker who is not ashamed of his work, one who correctly teaches the message of God’s truth” (2 Tim 2:15). An earlier translation made that read, “Study to show yourself approved to God”.
To understand involves hard work, but no one promised Christian disciples an easy time.
Lord, give me the discipline to work at understanding the faith.