// Rhema College Weekend Instructor Highlight
James 1:22 tells us that we don't want to be just hearers of the Word. We want to be doers. But what does that look like? And how can we be sure we handle the Word correctly? Here are some cautions—some do's and don'ts—we should watch out for as we handle this Word of life.
1. Don't minister the Word from a position of pride.
If our conversation has a lot of words like "I," "me," "mine," and "my"—if we think we have the word for this generation—the alarm is sounding. We may be dealing with pride. And if we're prideful, we're going to mishandle the Word of God. That's why we've got to stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit. He will warn us concerning issues of pride so we can continue to handle the Word
2. Don't use the Word as a tool to fight.
Have you ever found yourself studying to prove a point? I have. And while there is a place for Christian apologetics, we must acknowledge our motivation. If our motivation is to fight, I'd say "caution." Second
Timothy 2:14 (NIV) says, "Keep reminding God's people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen." We don't want to beat others up with the Word or use it for the wrong reason.
3. Don't act quickly on limited information.
Zeal without knowledge is not good. We have to match our passion with our level of knowledge and understanding and our development of that good fruit in our lives.
Remember the seven sons of Sceva in Acts chapter 19? They tried to cast out an evil spirit "in the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches" (v. 13 NIV). In response the spirit said, "I know about Paul. I know Jesus. I don't know you" (v. 15).
I think these men could have grown and developed in their handling of the Word so they could drive out that spirit. But they moved too quickly on limited information.
Jesus' disciples did the same thing in Luke chapter 9. They wanted to call fire down on a Samaritan village that didn't receive them (v. 54). Jesus said to them, "You don't know what spirit you're of" (v. 55)! He rebuked them because they were moving too quickly and handling the Word that had been taught to them incorrectly. Let's be careful not to do the same in our lives.
4. Do maintain a proper attitude and motivation as you handle the Word.
The Word can be controversial, but our attitude doesn't have to be. Romans 14:19 (NIV) says, "Make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." The love of God should be the motivating factor as we handle the Word of God. And we should yield to that love on the inside of us as we pursue peace and unity, particularly in the Body of Christ.
5. Do fulfill your call.
First Corinthians chapter 12 says that God has placed each of us in the Body as He sees fit. We each have a place. We each have giftings. We each have a part to play, and it's no one else's part.
We've got to know our part and do it. Because there will be a bogging down—a slowing down—if we're doing good stuff that's not the right stuff.
6. Do be bold.
This Gospel that we get to carry and handle is life! This Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, healing, deliverance, protection, and preservation. And we've got to watch out that we're not backing down when we should be moving forward.
We want to handle the Word appropriately, but let's not cast away our confidence. We have the message that will transform the world one person at a time. Let's go boldly, proclaiming this Word. Jesus is alive. Jesus is the Way. He is the Truth. He is the Life. Hallelujah! Let's carry this truth with boldness!