Learn, Test, Re-Learn, Re-Test in Times of Weariness

Author - Emma Stanley

Yall I’ll be honest it’s been a rough couple of weeks, fatigue has begun to set in but in so many ways I’ve gotten to see God work. That said my blog this week might not make a lick of sense so let’s get into it.

Pretty much all of our curriculum is founded upon this “study, practice, teach,” way of learning and living. I’ve found though, that you don’t go from ‘study,’ tuck that away to move onto ‘practice,’ and then add that to your little cabinet tucked away and move on to ‘teach’. No, it’s all of them all at once forever and always which is very daunting. But then I put it into this sort of filter of comparison (which doesn’t sound great but stick with me).

Let’s look at doctors nurses and others in the medical field. Medicine is always evolving so to stay with all the new medical professionals have to continue their education while practicing what they already know so that they can teach say another doctor or even a long-term patient how to do something themselves. Same thing with lawyers, judges, police officers, and other people who administer and upkeep the law. The law is constantly being added to, new laws for this and that and amendments to things that have been deemed “out of date” or “not relative” and those who have been charged to uphold and enforce the law have to stay up to date and see what’s being added and taken away so that they can properly do their job, but just like the medical field they have to continue to uphold what’s already in place and have enough of an understanding to apply the law to non-textbook scenarios. So just like these fields, we as disciples must study the Bible, practice its principles, and teach them to more disciples but there is always more to be studied and revealed and we must be in constant practice to be able to effectively teach and make disciples.

So how have I seen this study practice teach principles in my life? This teach/reteach cycle? Well, I’ll take my study in Galatians 6 and the events surrounding it as my example to tackle this one. Galatians 6:1-10 is a passage on bearing one another’s burdens, meeting and restoring a brother in gentleness, and doing good for those in times of weariness especially our brothers and sisters in Christ. When I was reading this passage the first time around it was simply because I had been reading through Galatians at the time, I jotted down some notes but didn’t think much of it at the time. Maybe a month passed and I was told I would need to sit down with some others and make a hard decision concerning a dear friend who was in sin. I was so caught off guard and didn’t know if I even agreed that I should be a part of this decision-making process but then I was reminded of Galatians 6 by my parents. I went back over my notes and walked through the passage with my parents so that I had a greater understanding of the call behind the passage first to the church in Galatia and then to me. I already had a well-rounded understanding of Matthew 18 and understood my call in ‘church discipline’ but in this specific circumstance, I knew I needed to understand how to do so in gentleness.

 I sat down for that meeting still a bit on edge but after much prayer, I felt like I could respond in gentleness much more than I could have prior to my study in Galatians. The meeting went well, we came to a decision that would truly love our brother well. Well God wasn’t done teaching me yet because a few weeks passed and we were once again needing to make a hard decision concerning the same brother. This time I had not reviewed my study on Galatians, in fact, I hadn’t even thought to do so and boy was that apparent when we all sat down. I was angry, angry that we had to have another discussion and that everything wasn’t magically resolved. I had forgotten the second part of Galatians 6:1 “Keep watch on yourself lest you too be tempted.” Although I wasn’t tempted to commit the same sins that we were discussing, I was tempted to be angry and allow myself to sit and become bitter. I thought I had already done my part and it was quitting time, boy did that end faster than green grass through a goose.

As soon as we finished that conversation I opened my Bible straight to Galatians 6 where my church’s reading plan took me and I was hit with conviction the size of Texas. I was not acting in gentleness, sure I had kept it together on the outside, hadn’t spoken much, and kept my angry words to myself but I was brewing and waiting for a moment to let my anger flow during the entire discussion. God once again wasn’t done, He allowed me another chance with this brother when we sat down and had the opportunity to lay it all on the table, I kept Galatians 6 at the forefront of my mind in this time of weariness and called out to the Holy Spirit to continuously redirect my heart to Him through our conversation and beyond. It was such a stark contrast between the two meetings that I can only attribute to the Holy Spirit but I will forever be grateful for those second and third chances gifted by God to help restore a brother.

So, through the weariness, fatigue, and anger I will choose to respond in gentleness that bears one another’s burdens and so fulfills the law of Christ. Thank you for reading this mess! I appreciate all your prayers for our team and would ask that you continue as we continue to study, practice, and teach all at once always, and forever.

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