If we teach our children to know the truth, we will lead them to Jesus;
If we teach our children to love the truth, they will lead others to Jesus.
My family has grown to love Focal Point, a yearly Preacher’s Workshop, as it gives us a chance to recharge our batteries and help us be prepared to go back into the fields to work. This year was no exception to the quality of lessons presented. One geared toward the ladies was delivered by Nicci Leonard of Carrollton, Georgia in which she mentioned the above quote. The congregation where she and her husband work uses this as their Bible class motto. The truths of this statement, though, go beyond our classes and into our everyday lives.
There is a vast difference in knowing truth and loving truth. Let me give a personal example. I know a little about history. It was never my favorite subject growing up, so I typically learned just enough to be able to do well on my homework and tests. Today, I remember some facts, but details about the history of our nation, state, etc. escape me. I have to do a little research if I get asked something by one of my children regarding the past, and then try to be somewhat excited about it in case that ends up being “their cup of tea.”
However, if you want to talk math, I’m there! I loved numbers growing up, and still enjoy the principles of mathematics today. Whether it was geometry, algebra, currency– it really didn’t matter. As long as it involved numbers or the concepts related to them, I could lose myself for hours. I even tutored others in math, trying to get them to love it as much as I did (or at least to the point of passing their class). My love for the subject led me into computer science, also a math related subject, in which I still do some contract work.
Do you see the difference? In subjects that we know we need, but we really don’t like that much, we will learn enough to get by. We’ll pass along information as needed, but not with a fervor that helps to instill a love for that topic to those we talk with (unless we really put forth an effort). However, in subjects we personally love, it becomes quite easy to study and grow in them. We can talk about them with others all day (and night!) with such passion that the other person can pick up on our excitement.
Now, where do you fall when it comes to Christianity? For many, it is something that they know enough just to get by. They read their Bibles a little every day just because they know it is the thing “to do.” They know they need to talk with others about spiritually minded things, but when their children or others they know ask them about Biblically related subjects, they give a quick answer and let conversation die – maybe so they don’t have to admit that they don’t know, or so they will not have to do further research to find a deeper answer. They may be able to lead others to Christ, but that is about where it ends as they cannot pass along a true passion for Christ since they do not have one themselves.
As Christians today, our cups should be overflowing with a love for Christ that we want to pass along. Do you enjoy picking up your Bible every day, opening the pages, and learning more of the Word that God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2:15)? When someone, especially your children or grandchildren, ask you about something Biblically related, do you attempt to fully answer their question, possibly using it as a springboard to further discussion about Christ, God, the church, etc. (Deuteronomy 11:19; Acts 18:26)? Or, if you don’t know an answer, spend the time, possibly even in conjunction with them, seeking a full answer to their question (Psalm 119:46; John 5:39; Acts 17:11)? Maybe even most importantly, do you do all of this with a spirit of love and excitement, trying to get those individuals with which you talk to see your deep interest in this subject? Do they see your desire for them to love it as much as you do? Read Psalm 119:47-48 and Jeremiah 15:16!
The best part is by passing along a passion for Christ and His church to our children and others we meet, hopefully they will in turn pass along that passion to someone else (2 Timothy 2:2). From seeing the importance of this subject and the love with which we tried to instill it in them, they will recognize the value of it and try to teach others the truths of God’s Word with the same excitement and desire that we showed to them. And they will teach others, who will teach others, who will-well, you get the idea.
You see, we can’t just pass along some knowledge. Don’t misunderstand – we need to know the Book. We need the information. But it doesn’t end there. We have to pass along a true love for the Book. Then, and only then, will we see the church, and especially our children, grow as they should.
For more information on Focal Point, held in San Marcos, TX yearly in May
contact University Church of Christ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Priscilla Smithey
Priscilla is the wife of Ryan Smithey, minister for the 4th & Stewart congregation in Brownwood, TX. A native of Garland, TX, she holds both a BS and MS in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Dallas, and is a graduate of the wives program at the Memphis School of Preaching. Currently, she spends most of her time homeschooling her two children, Seth and Hannah.