Thursday, June 07, 2012

Sound Doctrine May Be More Than You Think

For many, sound doctrine is a set of beliefs that should be adhered to in order to be deemed as Biblically sound.   As I said in my last post, some of the best descriptions of what sound doctrine actually is can be found in the passage before us; Titus 1:16-3:8.  Helping someone become like Jesus (discipleship) usually takes years and consists of right thinking/beliefs but also, and maybe more importantly, how one lives out her or his faith.  I would rather be with people who live out the one another verses of the Bible than with a group of people who know the one another verses (memorized) but turn their nose at those in need or those who need to be restored from some sinful way of life.  Making disciples takes patience, an imagination and a whole bunch of love.  Making disciples is a lot like sculpting.

I've never really sculpted.  Oh, I've made a snake and a snowman out of Play-Do but I'm certain that artists would not recognize my work as actual sculpting.   I am however intentionally pointing out areas in peoples lives where a sharp chisel needs to be placed and then hit with a hammer to remove an edge or two.  I am attempting to sculpt sound doctrine into the lives of people.  Although I've not sculpted in marble or stone, I imagine it takes a long time and a lot of care.  Sculpting flesh is a long process that is full of joy, pain, pausing and pursuing.

In the book of Titus, Paul instructs Titus to "speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine." Paul then goes on to talk about what 'sculpting' sound doctrine in the lives of people looks like.  It looks like older men having integrity and strong godly character.  Older women are to behave in a manner that honors God and to have their conversations full of grace and goodness.  Paul also says that sound doctrine looks sensible in the lives of young men and goes on to tell how sound doctrine should be lived out in the business world, the church world and in regards to our interaction with governing rulers.  It should all look the same by the way, we shouldn't look/act one way on Sunday morning and another way in Tuesday's sales meeting.

I'm learning that sound doctrine, although full of truth and absolutes, has much (maybe much more) to do with how we live.  What if how we live actually exposes the truth of faith in our hearts?  Can we go to church each week or read our Bibles daily and not really be concerned for the poor, widows and less fortunate?  Can we simply believe certain 'doctrines' and yet live how we want?  Should we be allowing consumerism to swallow us whole without a strong fight?  Should we horde our money instead of using it to spread love and help others.  Would Jesus encourage us to save for our retirement or to help out a widow who needs new windows in her home?

Whatever you think about my questions in the previous paragraph, do become active in sculpting sound doctrine in your life and the lives of others.  Get out your spiritual hammer and chisel to add depth and beauty to the lives around you.  How we live does matter.  Faith without works is dead.  So get alive and spend your faith by living out sound doctrine.

I would love to hear what you think about this.