“I was again reading in the Book of Acts earlier this morning,” Stan commented, “and I was reminded of something I once saw in a Bible study class.”
“Was it a Bible study on the Book of Acts?” I asked.
“No,” Stan replied. “Actually I don’t remember what we were studying, but I sure do remember how it related to what I was reading this morning.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“About the early church in Ephesus, which is in modern-day Turkey.” Stan replied. “There’s a story about a fellow named Apollos who is described as a man of God.”
“Good way to be described,” I commented. “Was it an accurate description?”
“Sure seems like it,” Stan said. “At one point this Apollos fellow was talking to the church about Jesus, but he didn’t have the whole story about Jesus’ death and resurrection.”
“So what happened with him?”
“There were some other believers in the church who knew the whole story of Jesus. Those believers took Apollos aside and explained to him what they knew that he didn’t.”
Continuing, Stan added, “For me, that’s the important part, that they took him aside.’
“Versus what?” I asked.
“Responding to him in a public way. And when I read this account again it reminded me of an unfortunate event that happened in that Bible study class, something that shouldn’t have happened, but did.”
“It was a class I attended early in my Christian life,” he replied, “I was new to the faith and didn’t know much about the Bible. There was another person in the class who was in the same boat. He didn’t know much, but he was very enthusiastic.”
Continuing, Stan added, “One night in class this other fellow said something that was not fully accurate about what we were studying. Unfortunately, the class leader really took him to task about it. The leader embarrassed him in front of the rest of the class. That was the last time I ever saw him. He said nothing else the rest of that night and he didn’t return to class after that.”
“Wow,” I responded, “he must have really been hurt and shut down.”
“You’ve got that right, my friend,” Stan responded. “And it was a valuable lesson for me in dealing with another believer, whether individually, but especially in a group. I am to never embarrass someone for not knowing or understanding the whole truth. If correction or explanation is needed, I am to do it in a way that only encourages, never discourages, and always brings glory to God.”
Bible verses to consider:
And he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Acts of the Apostles 18:26.
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6.
Tend my lambs. John 21:15.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of knowing you and Jesus in an ever-deepening personal relationship for as long as you keep me on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I do not pursue knowing you and Jesus as fully as you intend. Please help me with wanting to know all you have for me. And please help me in always helping others, never hindering them, in their own pursuit of knowing you and Jesus. Lead and help me to follow so I help others just as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you have sufficient knowledge of God so you have accepted His free and gracious provision of life with Him forever when your time here is completed? If no, why? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with pursuing an ever-deepening knowledge of God? How are you doing in helping others in their own understanding and knowledge of God? If you sense the need for changes in these areas, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?