Everyone will agree that Singapore is extremely blessed where Christian teaching is concerned. Whilst this is good and praiseworthy, this has also resulted in less than desirable attitudes in the Church. Like a foodie on a food trail, we have Christians who hop from church to church, teaching to teaching, seminar to seminar, conference to conference. And I haven’t even begun to mention the library of Christian books at home yet.
Reflecting on this one day, I am totally convinced and of the firm opinion that it is not more teaching we need. Instead, it is time to apply what has been learnt and diligently put it into practice.
It’s nice to receive good teaching. But if we do not begin to work it out in our lives, we will become critical and judgmental Christians. We compare and contrast one preacher with the next. We pit one interpretation against another (usually settling for the one that sits better with our own theology and situation). We decide our church attendance, involvement, membership (and tithe) based on whether we have received revelational teaching or not. Like the professional foodie, we are quick to complain when the service is not up to mark, the aircon is too cold, the presentation of the dish too simple, the queue too long, the fish is not fresh, the steak too chewy, the calamari too rubbery, the water too watery! And what is most absurd is that the foodie can’t even cook or serve himself. Similarly, albeit sadly, many Christians know how to provide an impressive commentary but do not have a corresponding testimony.
Lest I be accused of missing the plank in my eye as I observe the specks around, allow me to plead guilty and promptly address this article to myself first. I take this extremely seriously, being a teacher and preacher of the Word. For what right do I have to speak it, if I first do not live it? I love to teach and also to receive teaching. But I need to keep reminding myself … what have I done with the Word of God. If nothing, then what is the use of the most revelatory teaching or prophetic word? Worse yet, these will be an indictment against me, for I would have heard and ignored a clear instruction from God! That, in a clear and simple word is … disobedience 😦
Let me state it once again: The challenge in the Church today is not the lack of teaching, but the lack of application. To borrow a phrase from sports brand, Nike, it is time to “just do it”. May God prompt and stir our hearts accordingly.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22