Scripture:But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

 

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, SO THAT an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

 

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age; waiting for our blessed hope (the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ), who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness AND to purify for himself a people for his own possession (who are zealous for good works).  Titus 2:1, 7-8 and 11-14

 

Observation:  There’s that pesky phrase again, “sound doctrine.” What does that even mean, and what does it have to do with the way I lead my life?

 

Analysis: As a new Christian (a length of time that advanced into a decade or more–(might have grown older, but certainly not smarter or more mature) –I employed the “shotgun”

method of learning about the Scriptures: “What suits my fancy to read about today?”  In a practical manner, I did the “let me just drop my Bible on the table, stick my finger in wherever, and that’s what I will read about today” method of “study.”  A “spiritual person” would define it as being led by the Spirit, a slightly more cynical person would call it “chance” or even “laziness”.

 

I called it then “being led by the Spirit”, I now recognize it now as lazy chance, not disciplined.

 

Why, though? I think that there wasn’t a disciplined approach to the Bible in the local churches I attended—no mission that I could get behind and give my life to.  “Without vision, the people perish.”  But planting sound doctrine in my mind and heart is what prepares me for vision and the mission that results from it.

 

Sports analogy: Doctrine is like practicing the fundamentals; the basic moves, physical and mental reactions, that allows for analysis and corrections when things go wrong.  Without fundamentals, things get ugly on the field.  Preaching the Gospel to yourself, preaching sound doctrine (all of them) are the fundamentals that lead to “renouncing ungodliness, etc.”  It is preparing for the practice of integrity, dignity, and sound speech so that when we are in any kind of public, we don’t look ugly and dumb — having no clue to be drawn from any sort of sound doctrine that has already been trained in us.

 

The three references I began with today are not just directed toward leadership or aspiring leadership but are also applicable to us (me).  I am not an appointed leader in the local church, but I am a leader of my household and to my extended circle of family, friends, work acquaintances, and neighbors—even to (in a minor extent) strangers.

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, it has taken a long time (and I am still working through this) to know that Leadership is not “positional”; that is, a selection or nomination by an outside authority.  I was not promoted to “manager” in anything.  Leadership is what anyone does during their normal everyday life that God anoints and supports.  It is suggestive and many times lonely because no one has to follow me.  That is especially true with my wife and children.

 

Help me walk in You; support all my attempts at being worthy of the Gospel.

 

AMEN

Rick Sutton