What’s Wrong Here?
By Kathi Woodall –
I have been temporarily working in the office of a local Christian school. Most of my time is spent either in the lobby answering telephones or updating files in the back room. I haven’t spent much time in the main office area. However, on my second day, a question regarding a phone call sent me back to an open area where four desks sit, with the office of the school director just beyond them. I walked in and asked my question but while we were discussing it, the director, while on her way to her office, walked into the open area and started laughing. I hadn’t seen anything out of the ordinary in the office so I was surprised by her laughter. To explain her laughter, the director said, “You are all in the wrong place; you usually sit here, you are usually over there, and you sit right here!” I was new and barely even knew everyone’s names. I definitely didn’t know which desk belonged to which person. The director, used to seeing them each at their own desk day after day, knew immediately when something was off.
Since I didn’t have the day after day exposure to what was correct in the office, I didn’t recognize when people were out of place. I just knew all of the right people were in the office. Similarly, someone with a surface knowledge of Christianity might walk into a church, read an article, or listen to a spiritual message where all of the right elements are present and not be able to discern that the elements are out of place. God is mentioned although the name of Jesus may never come up. Prayers are said but they bounce off the ceiling. Perhaps, Bible verses are even read, albeit out of context.
The director knew what she was seeing was off because she was in the office every day. The Bible is the source of what is correct and true. Like the school director, when we read and study the Word of God on a regular basis, we can walk into a church, read an article, or listen to a spiritual message and recognize when things are out of place. We will be able to discern the truth.
David wrote in the Old Testament, “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5 NIV). We often long for God to show us His way, to teach us or guide us. We want to know right from wrong and truth from false teaching. We want to be like the director who walked in the room and immediately recognized something was off. The Holy Spirit will “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13 NIV) but He uses Scripture to do it. Unless we are regularly spending time reading, studying and memorizing His Word, we will be as oblivious as I was when I walked in the office and everyone was out of place.