Learning Later in Life the Truth My Mentors Missed

The ability to think analytically is an inborn temperament trait. Not every one is so gifted. A fellow said he was tired of his work. I asked why. He said because he was tired. He said that his drive to work was too far. I asked how far. He said it was a long ways. He also said he hated to work in cold weather, especially when the temperature was so low.

I asked wife, Carole, to remind me about an appointment later today. She said, "Remember your appointment later today." I said that I meant later. She said it was later.

I love the story about the museum curator who insisted the three-foot skeleton was indeed the Apostle Paul. "It was his when he was a boy," he explained.

Sometimes in counseling, I put the ability for critical thinking to the test. Once I half convinced a counselee that I had found a spray which would clean both sides of a glass window at the same time. I also told a young boy once that pineapple was porcupine meat. He said, "Gol-lee!" I told him also that my brother was an only child and that my grandmother died at the age of four. They both tested positive for either being very trusting or not very temperamentally energetic for critical thinking.

Then sometimes we are just ignorant (lack information). It is hard to come to Truth with only partial information.

For example, I understood as a child that the accumulation of good works had absolutely nothing to do with my eternal salvation. How blessed! (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) World religions do not understand that. Even in Christian churches, some do not understand that. They have missed understanding that our "works of righteousness" have no power to satisfy God's judgment against us because of Adam's disobedience in the Garden of Eden (Titus 3:5; Romans 5:12-19).

But I did miss understanding about God's provisions for our sanctification / healing, that it, too, just like for eternal salvation, was not based on pious behavior to impress God with our worthiness. So I lived a long time assuming that the blessings of God to meet my needs, particularly for the healing of my brokenness, were based upon me acting out to win his favor, including to fast and pray. It did not occur to me that, just as God had made provisions for my eternal salvation, he had also provided for my healing. And that they both were appropriated by faith to receive them. The one,

  • by receiving God's provision of Christ's death (his Blood shed on the cross) for me as the only payment he would accept to satisfy his judgment against me, and the other,

  • by receiving his provision of Christ Life birthed and nurtured in me by the Holy Spirit as my only hope for enablement to make wise choices (obedient response to the instructions he has given us through his Word) in order to establish me in health and happiness.
Part of the problem was the old English 1611 King James Bible. I thought if it was good enough for the Apostle Paul, it was good enough for me (old joke). It had beautiful prose, but was not the vernacular common to my understanding, nor with which I communicated. Hence, I missed understanding much in the Scripture just for that reason. It was also missed by my legalistic mentors. But never mind, we all relied on our commentaries to enlighten us.

Never mind, also, that the concepts my mentors taught me did not make sense. Neither did they work. When the house built upon my ignorance came tumbling down, I turned from the commentaries, bought a translation of the Bible in regular English, also without footnotes, and trusted the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal Truth to me - Truth that makes sense to my analytical mind; also, that works! Think of that!

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 8L06GracePoint Counseling