Our convictions and belief system often focus on a state that does not exit. It has never existed. Yet, according to our expectations and judgments, it is real. At times, each of us think that we live in this state.

In this state, the Christian achieves a level of knowledge that makes it unnecessary to learn anything else. His or her purpose is now to defend or oppose, but not to learn. In this state, others must know what "I" know, nothing less and nothing more.

In this state, the Christian reaches a level of understanding that makes it unnecessary to understand anything else. When another Christian's understanding differs from "mine," the other Christian needs to be corrected. "I" have nothing to correct.

In this state, the Christian has determined the proper answer and correct solution to each complex problem and difficult situation. He or she becomes (at the least) irritated or (at the most) outraged if another Christian does not agree with his or her answer or solution. When another's equally conscientious study produces a different conclusion, he or she is in error because "my" conclusions are unquestionably correct.

In this state, a Christian does not need to grow, to develop, to mature, or to increase in wisdom. All he or she needs to do is to maintain his or her present spiritual level. The future of Christianity would be wonderful and the future of the church would be secure if all Christians had grown as much, developed as much, matured as much, and had as much wisdom as "I" have.

The Christian's spiritual standard in every aspect of existence is God's wisdom, Jesus' life, and Christ's mind. When my actions are under control, I still need to develop Jesus' attitudes. When I improve my attitudes, I still need to develop godly emotions. When I improve my emotions, I still need to mature in my relationships. Every aspect of my life needs spiritual growth and development. In no aspect of my life will I rise to God's wisdom, Jesus' life, or Christ's mind.

Right now take a moment to read 2 Peter 1:1-11 and Romans 2.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 1 November 1998

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