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Ordering My Private World

January 17, 2010

A college  freshman showed up for her first history class. For the next hour, she listened as her professor tried to discredit everything she held sacred as a Christ follower.

He told the 300 students assembled that contradictions in the Bible render it unreliable, that Jesus was a mere political figure and on and on. She scanned the room and saw her classmates passively scribbling notes.

She later dialed her father in tears. What the professor said was bad enough, she told him. But what really upset her was the way students seemed to soak it all up and accept it as if it were fact.

The freshman’s father was Jim White, pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church, and he shared this true story as part of a great message today titled, “Ordering Your Private World.”

Jim White

Americans, White said, consume 34 gigabytes of information per day. Via mass media and the internet, we each soak up more than 100,000 words each day. “We’re getting information,” he said, “we’re spending time with information, but not necessarily with knowledge or truth and certainly not wisdom. Big difference.”

The danger of taking in all this stuff without considering if it’s true is that we never develop any spiritual strength or discernment. “Living Christianly,” White said, “starts with thinking Christianly.” Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Two ways to get fit spiritually:

1) Read

2) Reflect on what you’ve read

White recommended choosing books well, starting with the Bible, which imparts knowledge that can’t be gotten anywhere else.  One of his own books, “A Mind for God,” suggests other good reads.

I plan to get a copy of White’s book, but I’m already doing something I’ve never done before: committing to read the New Testament in 30 days as part of Elevation Church’s NewThru30 initiative.

I’m actually ahead of schedule. Once I get started reading, it’s hard to stop. I’m seeing familiar scriptures, but am amazed at the new things I’m learning. Sweeping themes, like the way God used haters as well as the faithful to establish/advance the early church.

Familiar figures are also coming into more focus. For example, I understood that Paul was a really smart guy and a killer of Christians prior to his conversion. But I had no idea he was so personable and masterful at public relations.

It was comforting to hear today that Christianity doesn’t require that I check my intellect. It also feels good to dig into the Word for the first time. Wonder where all this will lead?

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