Teachers that love me are the ones I tend to believe. Christ is the example. He loves with a love that is complete in time and space. He is the Alpha and Omega. He loves me with agape love, the master love, understood in my weak language as the love that seeks the ultimate good of the other, even when this means self-sacrifice. In His agape, Christ sought me out, forgiving me for my selfishness and hatred and introducing me to the living curriculum of love.
He teaches me through His words and through what He has made. He fashioned me so that He can teach me through reason, conscience, intuition, spiritual insight, discourse with Him (prayer) and dialog with other people. His teaching through all these means is coherent, and its coherency is founded in agape. Other teachers are reliable to the extent that they are aligned with Him.
These other teachers are made in His image and have access to truth He reveals in so many different ways. They potentially can become increasingly aligned with Him in various realms of truth. However, their understanding of things is flawed and incomplete. I should be eager to learn from them in all the areas that they have found truth, but I must test all things and hold on to the good. I must subject my own ideas to the same test.
I will critique my teachers in various ways. I will seek to know how they have come to believe what they believe. I will look for evidence that they are honest and curious to discover truth. I will look for places where they close the door on their own learning. If they individually or collectively insist on beliefs that decrease their capacity for growth in agape for God and man, my skepticism for their reliability will grow. However, their explorations into realms of truth are potentially of great value. I must be humble and curious about these things. I must love truth and love my teachers enough to learn from them. And I must look closely to find their errors, their misalignment with the Master Teacher, the Living Word, the Creator Christ. These errors endanger us.
Because I rely so heavily on Christ’s special revelation, I must also be very careful to distinguish between this revealed truth and my ideas about it. To say this more plainly, because I rely on the Christian scriptures, I must be determined to understand them truly. The ink on the pages of the Bible is not magical. The word is not the same as the Word. This brings me back to agape. There is an amazing connection between agape and truth that can help me in reading the scriptures rightly.
My prayer today is that I will grow a little in understanding Christ’s love and His truth, and that this will help me learn well in this university called earth.