“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Anyone who has small children knows that sorting the laundry must be done carefully. Those little bitty socks will hide themselves in shirts and pants. Even a full-size sock, shirt, or undergarment can be lost through carelessness. The lost item may turn up later, but often not when it is most needed.
It is the same with theology. If we attempt to sort scripture into a blunt or broad theology, we risk loosing elements that are important. It is helpful to be able to proclaim the great trust we can have in Christ’s work, but the true teacher can also speak rightly about the meaning of fruitfulness and fruitlessness.
The good teacher will be able to distinguish between a proper hatred of self and a righteous self-love; between despair unto death, and despair unto life; Between works of law, and works and righteousness.
“Every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old” (Matthew 13:52).
Without precision, pastoral care risks doing pastoral harm.
Oh, Lord, may I not trust in my own wisdom, nor in the sufficiency of my instruction, but continue to turn to you and your Word to correct, inform, and direct my understanding and instruction.
May I ever interrogate my speech, and questions whether it is not only true, but Thoughtful, Helpful, Intelligent, Necessary, and Kind (THINK).