You have the ability to understand scripture.

I will admit, I am a strong Martha defender. If you want to know part of Martha's story, go read here. It is the story of her brother's death, and what followed. The pastor at a church I attended talked about this story but what he said did not line up with my understanding of the story.

I have always seen this story to show Martha's redemption. She lost focus when Jesus was teaching at her home, but here her focus is on God. Truth be told, there is no telling exactly what her motives were when she said, "Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." The pastor said she was being accusatory in the first sentence and manipulative in the second. I was aghast.

You see, in my understanding she was speaking her heart to him. Jesus had sent a message, "This sickness will not end in death." When Lazarus died she did what she only knew to do. Run to Jesus, let him know her expectations, let him know her faith was still in him, and claim him as the Christ. I feel the pleading, the confusion, the lack of understanding in between her words and his. I don't feel accusations or manipulation.

I will admit my emotions after the sermon was one of being defensive. I wanted him to line up with my way of thinking, of course. But then I remembered that's not how this life works. We will have our different ideas, thoughts, and understandings depending on who we are, our pasts, and what we have been through.

This means we wont agree with everyone all the time. It means we might have altering understandings at times. We don't have to be upset by this, it simply is what it is. If it's a friend, discuss, share, and see the story from each other's perspective. If it is a teacher, ask, listen, gather information. If it's a preacher know they have different insight than you do, but it doesn't necessarily make you wrong.

The goal is to simply dig in and research. Understand what God is teaching you. Don't feel you must agree with someone else, no matter who they are. Compare what they say to what the scripture says. And then be okay with being you and having your own understanding based on where God has you.

A good book to understand how to study scripture is Knowing Scripture by R. C. Sproul.


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