I’ve seen it happen so often. I’ve done it! You read a book, article, watch a video or hear a speaker and something in it causes a problem. Maybe you took advice and misapplied it. Maybe they gave poor advice. Perhaps what works for 95% of Christianity is inappropriate for you. Whatever the scenario, the messenger has a message, the message is good, the message is right, but it’s not right for your circumstance at this time.
Silly example. A twenty-three year old woman reads that she is to respect her husband. She’s devastated. How can she obey this command! She doesn’t have one!!! Rather than say, “hmm that doesn’t apply to me yet but I’ll make sure I train myself to respect authorities in my life and to show it, she says, “This author is stupid! I can’t do this and it’s wrong of him to tell me to! If I try respecting my husband when I don’t have one, then I’ll just end up bitter about my marriageless state (or worse, she tries to respect the husband she doesn’t have and DOES become bitter about her singleness.)
Why can she not take the admonition before the Lord, ask for His wisdom in how to imbed His Word on her heart, and then set aside a command which doesn’t apply to her yet and focus on the many that do.
Why is it the fault of the preacher when you are convicted of your own sin when he teaches what the Word says? Why does the author get the blame when you misapply or do not act/read with discernment? Why is it ok for us to assume motive of one person (the author/speaker) but nobody better DARE assume motive of us?
Why are we so quick to pass blame rather than confess sin? Why is Adam’s poor example (But the woman YOU gave me) still our first resort?
I’d love to see someone finally say, “I heard this speaker at a seminar. What they had to say was really good but they were speaking to home educators and I’m not so when I tried to implement everything they said and I failed, I felt really dumb. I was so mad at the speaker for a while until I realized that I’m the one who misapplied the principle with a method that didn’t fit me.
I really don’t care if someone likes a teacher, preacher, seminar, or video that I do. I truly could care less. I do mind, however, when people cannot accept that what didn’t bless them, what they misapplied, becomes something that people suddenly fight and attack as if the problem was the idea rather than the misapplication of it.
There is a popular website among homeschoolers. I’ve owned many things from this website and I enjoyed what I got. However, as I’ve seen families torn apart trying to be whatever they think this ministry is teaching, I’ve gotten to the point that I have chosen to distance myself. The site isn’t inherently evil. The teachings aren’t all off the wall. There are some that I consider to be a problem but only because they’re not taught as a method anymore but as the principle. However, I’ve tried hard to keep my personal concerns, personal because not everything taught is how others are misapplying it. It’s not the fault of the teachers when the students are twisting things out of context.
Or is it? If almost everyone who reads or hears a certain lesson comes away with the “wrong impression” at what point does the teacher become responsible for their words? That’s a blog for another day. However, if half of learners get one thing and the other half get something else… What do you do? What about 75/25?
Isn’t this why discernment is so important?
I say we stop blaming others for our own poor decisions, misunderstandings, and misapplications. What a refreshing thought.