Good Doctrine

The Detour

As of this writing I’m sitting in a hotel bed in Conyers, Georgia. My wife and I were on our way to visit our daughter and son-in-law in South Carolina, but the long arm of Murphy’s Law caught up with us, causing us to make an unplanned stop.

Thank God for Gideons!

Now, because I woke up this morning with nothing in our room but the clothes we wore and our tooth brushes, I don’t have my Bible, nor do I have a computer in front of me (we left everything in the car during the rain storm). All I have is a Gideon Bible and my iPhone.

But I guess that’s good enough 🙂

So, here are my thoughts before I take an elevator down to breakfast – and as I tell our little dog to be quiet lest he get us in trouble.

The Doctrine

Solomon tells his son, “For I give you good doctrine…” (Proverbs 4:2a).

Doctrine is another word for teaching. Do you ever stop to consider the quality of what you’re teaching others? Solomon obviously had, and he was able to distinguish between good doctrine and bad.

But how do we know if what we teach others – our children, co-workers, class members, congregations, etc. – is “good doctrine?” How can we say with confidence “I give you good doctrine”?

Let me be honest, this is deep stuff, and I’ve yet to have a cup of hotel coffee. But the first thing that comes to mind is that we should know what is true, and that takes work.

Do you know why a Pastor of a church should not be a “novice” (1 Timothy 3:6)? One reason is because he has little life experience. You see, a seminary degree is great, but textbook knowledge is not as comforting to the brokenhearted as is a word based on experience.

But do you know why parenting is difficult? Because you learn on the go. All you have is the advice (doctrine) of others who’ve been there before and have learned from their mistakes.

Solomon had made mistakes. His father, David had made mistakes, leaving Solomon with several dead brothers. Now it was time for Solomon to write it all down – how to avoid the mistakes and live.

But for you and me, are we giving much thought to what we are teaching? Do we follow Paul’s advice to Timothy?

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee (1 Timothy 4:16).

My brain isn’t completely awake and out of bed, yet, but what I think we should take away from this morning’s Thought is a renewed determination to make sure what we teach, what we preach, and all our general advice is wholesome, beneficial, and true.

In order to do that, we must maintain wise counsel, pray a lot more, and stay in the Word – that’s where the most trustworthy doctrine can be found.


About Anthony Baker

Husband, dad, pastor, artist, and musician. Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2006 (no joke!). Loves coffee (big time), good movies, and sarcastic humor. Holds a Doctorate in Ministry. Most importantly, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. All glory belongs to Him! Matthew 5:16 View all posts by Anthony Baker

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