Scripture – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 New International Version
Am I Smart Enough to Be a Christian?
By Kelly Sisney
As I write this, I have open before me an NIV Study Bible, NKJV Woman of Destiny Bible, Interpretation Bible Commentary and a New Interpreter’s Bible, Volume X… and I am validated in knowing I am not smart enough to be a Christian. At least that is how I have felt at times! One of the times I felt that way was as I began researching scripture for this devotional that I foolishly thought I could write. Pastor Matt had faith in me to do this, but do I have the faith in myself or the faith needed to understand what faith really is? I know, deep right?
In 1 Corinthians, Paul is basically calling out the people who felt pretty sure they were saved because of their knowledge of God. I confess there was a time I thought I’d be a better Christian if only I knew and understood the bible really well. I went from birth to the bible as a kid. I grew up going to a Lutheran school. I was in church every Sunday and Wednesday night. I wrote the curriculum for our children’s VBC programs and Sunday School, I took all 6 Disciple Bible Studies and a myriad of classes in between, and soon realized that the more I studied and memorized, the less I knew, the more questions I had, the more that remained a mystery to me. This fact left me feeling “less than” and I began to wonder if I had faith at all! I would ponder why I work for a church when I am such a broken vessel, when I can’t remember all of the beatitudes or get the 10 Commandments in the right order or not be able to pronounce a king’s name unless it was David.
But, have something devastating happen in your life and you quickly realize two things: 1) all the Biblical knowledge in the world will not comfort you and 2) you can be so angry with God that you realize you do have faith…why would you even turn to God to be angry if you did not believe God was there?
What I know today is that finding out more about what we believe in is not so we can believe more, we stay in God’s word as a compass, as a guide to be in a relationship with our Lord and to be reminded that God loves us and his grace never runs out. The one fact I need to zero in on is simple… Jesus died on the cross for my sins. With that knowledge I believe Christ is the power and wisdom of God. It is essential for people to be humble in front of God and I am definitely humble in this area though, between you and me, I do know The Apostle’s Creed by heart due to some severe Lutheran learning!
- From 1 being the most stressed to 10 being the most confident, how do you feel when your bible study leader tells you to find a verse in the book of Philemon?
- Why do you read the bible? Do you read it regularly? Why do you think the Bible is important?
- What comfort do you find by knowing more about the Bible, or do you?
- Why do we need theologians? Why do we need people of simple faith? Would we be fine with one or another and if not, what does having them both do for all of us on our faith journey?
Wesley’s Challenge Questions for the Week:
- Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
- Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?