Why Doctrine is Important to Me
Sitting around a dinner table the other night with friends, the conversation was relaxed. At some point, one person asked a simple question,
“What’s your story?”
That question, when asked in the right context (of trust, love, and good listeners) is one of my favorites. I believe each person has an amazing story to tell.
I was inspired by the stories I heard and was blessed by the insight I gained into my friend’s lives. I told my story that night, too.
It was in the telling that my eyes were opened to the ‘why’ behind the focus of my writing. The passion I have for studying doctrine is related to my story.
That sounds obvious. But to me, it wasn’t- not until I heard myself say the following words,
“I don’t know why, but my husband and I have seem to have a knack for getting involved with dysfunctional churches”
Wounded by churches and other Christians, there have been some messy times. I’m sure it’s a story that many of you share.
Those wounds that I experienced gave me some serious trust issues. Looking back, I’m thankful, because God brought something beautiful out of that pain. Those trust issues drove me to Jesus. I learned that Christ, alone, is where I should have been placing my trust all along.
Church hurt causes confusion. I knew I had learned some solid truths about God in those churches and I also knew that I was taught some things that were NOT from God. How was I to know the difference?
I needed to grow up and learn what I believed about God and what it meant to be a follower of Christ by doing the hard work of study for myself. Studying the Bible and the doctrines of Christianity has become a passion of mine. It has drawn me closer to God and there has been healing. I’m learning to trust again, when appropriate, by asking for discernment from the Holy Spirit and by grabbing onto the Bible as the highest standard of truth.
The morning preceding that conversation at the dinner table, I read aloud a verse,
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” Ephesians 4:14
That verse came back to me in a powerful way as I told my story. The title of my blog, Above the Waves, is even reflected in the language of Ephesians 4:14. Studying the Bible and knowing what we believe is important for all of us, so we won’t be tossed back and forth by the waves of life. We need an unshakeable faith. That unshakeable faith is nourished by a daily habit of feeding it. Time in the word and embracing our beliefs is the way to do that.
Throughout this year, my friend Melanie Redd and I have been collaborating on a writing series called, Delight in Doctrine. It has been a blessing to partner with such a wise and encouraging woman of God. Our purpose has been to present the basic doctrines of the Christian faith in a simple relatable way. We have also sought to encourage readers to really think about what they believe and why.
Now that I’ve shared some of the ‘why’ behind my part in this doctrine series, I’d like to offer an overview of what we’ve covered to this point.
We started with a question,
Then we asked another,
Melanie continued with,
Still focusing on God, we asked,
Then we moved on to,
We had several posts on prayer,
We also talked a lot about the Bible,
It has been a joy to share these posts with you and I pray that they will be used by God to bless, challenge, and encourage you.
The Delight in Doctrine series has been a regular Wednesday post each week throughout the year. Melanie and I are going to put the series on hiatus for the summer but we’re both looking forward to picking it back up in the fall. We’ll both be writing on our blogs throughout the summer, on different topics, so we’d love to have you visit!
We still have lots of great material to cover in the doctrine series this fall, so we hope you’ll be right there with us, reading along.
Note…Amazon affiliate links are used throughout this post. If you click on a link and buy a book, I receive a small portion of the proceeds at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
Linking up with Deb Wolf at #faithandfriends (Friday), #GraceandTruth (Friday), Holly Gerth at #coffeeforyourheart (Wednesday), Sherry at #homesweethome (Thursday), Susanne Eller at #livefreeThursday, Kelly at #RaRalinkup (Tuesday), and Lori at #Momentsofhope (Monday)