Using The Whiteboard
By: Brian A. Yeager
How often do you think and reflect upon spiritual matters (Philippians 4:8)? How often do you consider your ways (Haggai 1:5 and Haggai 1:7)? How often do you reflect upon your spiritual condition (II Corinthians 13:5)? Not everyone needs to use a whiteboard. Everyone should have some time to set aside and some method to reflect upon things concerning our souls. We need to be searching and trying our ways, in light of the word of God, and making any corrections to our lives that we need to make (Lamentations 3:40). This requires a commitment to spend time thinking about these things!
Investing Time To Think It Through
When I taught false doctrine in the past, and was lost because of such (II Peter 2:1), I was not correctly thinking things through. I had accepted things I heard and did not correctly examine those doctrines for myself (Acts 17:10-11 and II Timothy 2:14-18). I thought that learned men, far greater than I was, could not possibly err since they knew so much. I was naïve in my trusting of false teachers (Proverbs 14:15, Proverbs 14:18, Proverbs 27:12, Isaiah 9:16, Matthew 15:14, Romans 16:17-18, and I John 4:1). I was not thinking during those years in my life. I was not reasoning from the Scriptures. Any thinking I was doing certainly was beyond the word of God (I Corinthians 4:6). Had I spent more time studying the truth then, as I do now, I would not have been so simple (Psalms 119:130).
When I began spending the right amount of time searching things out that I was teaching and practicing, that is when I began using my whiteboard. I started to question all that I was saying and doing. This is right to do, for we are commanded to act and speak by the authority of Christ (Colossians 3:17). I drew columns on my whiteboard. The first column was titled “action”. I titled the remaining three columns “Command”, “Approved Example”, and “Necessary Implication”. These are the methods in which the Lord communicates His will to us. He directly tells us what to do in commands (Matthew 28:20). We learn to please God by following Godly examples given in the Scriptures (I Corinthians 11:1). Also, we learn by things taught by inescapable conclusions [necessary inferences] (Matthew 22:31-32).
With my three columns made on my whiteboard, I began a long process of listing each thing I believed, taught, and practiced. Then, I studied out each subject from the Scriptures. If I could not place a Scripture from its true context and accurate exegesis, in one or more of the three authority columns, I ceased practicing and teaching that action. I found these words to be rather penetrating in my heart: “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge” (Proverbs 19:27). Several years ago we created a similar chart on the subject of authority in a class here. That study is still online if you’ve lost it (http://www.wordsoftruth.net/SomeApplicationsofBibleAuthority.pdf).
Again, it is not that we all need whiteboards to study and think, but we do need to study and think. We need to be sure that what we are saying and doing is pleasing to God (I Thessalonians 5:21). If we are speaking or acting aside from God’s will, we are in error (Isaiah 8:20 and John 8:31). We cannot just be careless and act without thinking all things through.
Saying And Doing Without Thinking
The Bible instructs us to be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8). Yet, so many act and speak without any thought. Some ignore the fact that everything we say and do is before God and will come into judgment (Matthew 12:34-37, II Corinthians 5:10, and James 2:10-12). Knowing this, a Christian should be settled to bring every thought and act under submission to God (II Corinthians 10:5 and James 4:7). For, any sin that is not repented of will keep us from Heaven (Luke 13:3 and Luke 13:5). When we are not conformed to the ways of the world, we find ourselves able to think things through with a spiritual mindset (Romans 12:1-2).
The Psalmist said: “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments” (Psalms 119:59-60). When you consider the words of the Psalmist there are some things that should stick out to you. First, the subject of self-examination should jump out at us. We are supposed to examine ourselves (Ezekiel 18:27-28 and I Corinthians 11:28-32). The second thing in the quote from the Psalmist that should stand out is that he turned his feet unto the testimonies of God (cf. Philippians 2:12). This requires some knowledge of the word of God. Right? So, if you or I are biblically ignorant we are going to fail in proper examination and repentance. So, study more and be efficient with the usage of your time studying. If not a whiteboard (I also use a legal notepad), use something to write out what you’ve learned and consider it further. Retain what you study by committing it to memory (Joshua 1:13, Proverbs 7:1-3, and Jude 17). This means studying and restudying things over and over again (cf. II Peter 3:1-2). Finally, we notice in the words of the Psalmist that once he knew his ways were not right he did not delay in turning to God’s will (James 4:13-15).
Let’s get our whiteboards out (figuratively speaking). Spend time plotting out what we are going to do and say. Some excuse themselves and try to explain why they have a hard time thinking things through. Here is the cure: “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established” (Proverbs 16:3). Make up your mind right now, if you haven’t already, to stop acting without careful consideration of all things related to your words and actions. Act like a faithful preacher in all that you do. Make sure your actions are biblical since those actions will be a sermon to someone (Matthew 5:14-16). Once your thoughts are on that proverbial whiteboard, think about it from God’s prospective before you act (Ephesians 5:10).
Volume 11 – Issue 5 - October 24th, 2010