It’s the last chapter and our final wrap-up of the 12 crazy makers that so many of us have grown up believing. Throughout this semester in our classes we’ve talked about why these chapters have such a potential for crazy making and what it all boils down to is that it isn’t an either/or scenario. It’s always at both/and picture. And I’m sure this chapter isn’t any different.
Truth all by itself can’t save anyone. That’s the crazy maker in this chapter. I enjoyed the comparison on page 197 where it points a finger at the Pharisees. Jesus had a great time talking about the faulty intentions of the Pharisees in the NT. They were all about following the letter of the law and they missed nothing. They had all the truth they needed. But what they didn’t have was a relationship with God.
Well meaning Christians have bought into the idea that Bible study alone can heal emotional and spiritual problems. I grew up in the camp where if you had a problem you went to the Bible for the solution. There’s nothing wrong with that. However at the same time, at least in my history, I grew up with the assurance that there was always a half dozen grandmother figures in my life that I knew I could go to for support. So, for me anyway, this wasn’t quite so much of a crazy maker. But for others of you, I know the potential for harm. Let’s look further.
The job of healing the emotional pain in our lives takes work. It doesn’t happen easily or quickly. To make this process work we need to be in relationship with God and in relationship with other people (the church). For us to fully realize the grace that God extends we need to be at peace with him. For us to fully realize the grace of God, he had to become man. And even know he comes to us in human form through his church. The grace that we feel from God don’t only come from studying His word, but also through experience him in relationship.
- How have you been able to balance your book knowledge of God’s love with actually experiencing His love?
- Genuine healing comes from not only hearing the words, but doing what it says…page 199… When have you lived out this idea.
- In what areas of your life are you hearing God’s word but not doing it?
Being transformed into the image of God is the key to really healing. But it’s hard getting there. Memorizing scripture and remembering it isn’t going to get us there. That’s the Pharisee’s tactic. What we need to remember is that real character change comes from practicing the truth. Real character change comes from living out what we hear.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4; John 8:31-32
- Doing God’s Word leads us to become humble and loving, responsible and forgiving, cleansed and transformed. What have you seen this truth lived out or experienced it for yourself?
- What character change is God working in you as you follow His leading? (Taking responsibility for what is inside of you, grieve, forgive, reconcile, learn, confront, express feelings, confess, practice honest, and receive support?)
Here’s a simple closing for our study together and this chapter from page 249:
“Learn the truth and study your Bible diligently, but don’t stop there. Take what it ways and put it into action by practicing the healing process it point to. Holding to Jesus’ teaching and acting on it, not just knowing it, is what sets you free. John 8:31&32)”
If you’d like to join this study in real time…I’m teaching it at HopePark Wednesday Mornings & Thursday Nights. If you’re a Nashville local, the door is always open. We’re at 8001 Hwy. 70 South, just off I-40. Online at http://hopepark.com and on twitter @hopepark.
Me…well you can find me twittering @jodytodd.
Have a great week!
Questions and assigned quotes from the study by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend entitled “12 Christian Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy.”