What is on the inside of you makes a difference in what you hear. What you just read you are processing through what you know regarding this statement.
As you read what I have written you will evaluate my knowledge on this subject. As you continue to read you will ultimately decide whether or not you can believe me, or more especially, whether or not you can trust me.
There is nothing wrong with doing so. In fact, this is what should do.
During thirty plus years of Bible-based counseling many have asked what have been my most difficult cases? My answer is simple: Teaching biblical truth to those who have been indoctrinated with biblical untruth.
Every truth I teach they filter through untruth. It is difficult, and for some impossible, to appropriate that which is true because untruth has become so deeply imbedded in their belief systems.
John 8:32 is a hallmark verse with dual ramifications: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
If you do not know the truth you are not free. If you know the truth you are free. This biblical principle extends into every-day life. Knowing the truth in any area sets people free from the harmful effects of ruminating on untruth.
My father taught me this principle as he dealt with issues arising in rearing his three children. I still hear him say, “I want to hear every side to this story even if all sides of the story are the same.” As a counselor I adhere to this approach to problem solving.
In a previous lesson we supported the statement: It is funny how two people hear the same thing differently – funny-peculiar not funny ha-ha. This is because we filter every thing we hear through what is on the inside of us whether true or false. Two people hearing the same thing at the same time are possibly processing the information through something different within themselves.
To mediate under these conditions and restore communication Ground Rules need to be established. We suggest the following:
- If we cannot agree, we will not be disagreeable. Thai is to say, if we cannot agree we will not get ugly with each other. Remember the biblical admonition to love one another.
- Remember this truism: We will never be without problems yet we need never to be without a solution.
- Realize that there is always a certain amount of right and a certain amount of wrong on both sides of every issue. Trying to determine who is most right and who is most wrong will never resolve the problem it will only drive the wedge of separation deeper.
- As previously established, problems are solutions in disguise.
- The hardest thing to give is in.
Giving in is not giving up. Giving in is actually taking the first step to reconciliation. Different from some ministry approaches to reconciliation, we do not teach compromise. Compromise is the act of each person giving up something they value. In doing so neither party may be willing to compromise. We teach cooperation. There is a biblical difference between compromise and cooperation.
In getting to the truth in any issue contenders must be allowed to state their perspective (case) without reprisal. They need to state the truth as they believe it to be. After each has done so they must commit to cooperating with the truth gleaned from Scripture.
As a process, Scripture is to be consulted by means of an exhaustive topical Bible to see where they stand compared to the teaching of God’s Word. The contenders would then commit to cooperate with God’s Truth forsaking their views that differ from His revealed Truth.
This is how Giving In becomes the first step toward reconciliation.
God Holds Us Responsible for What We Think, Say and Do
Rev. Thomas (Tom) C. Lacy, Advisory Board Member of the Virginia Christian Alliance and Founder and Director, of New Hope Counseling Service and on the Board of Advisors of the Virginia Christian Alliance