We wanted to reclaim a section of the backyard. Blackberry vines, wisteria, and weeds had all become overgrown. The boys cleared a line down the side of the yard. Since that was where many of the long vines had their roots, it proved to be a very effective way to accomplish much in a short period of time. I could not believe how much died back because of that.
At one point when I was standing in the yard watching the boys cut, I asked them to cut somewhere else. Robbie quickly pointed out to me that the root of the problem was where he was working and not where I was pointing. As previously noted, he was right!
Much the same way, when someone does not quite have the facts right, a small correction at the source often makes a lot of difference.
And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
Notice that Aquila and Priscilla went to the root of the problem. They took the man aside and talked with him. They showed him the way of God more perfectly. Fortunately, he was not too proud to go forth and carry that new understanding to Achaia. We read after that, “For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”
That one simple task of taking the man aside and showing him the way of God more perfectly had great impact for the Jews in Achaia as well as for others he reached after that. But what if Aquila and Priscilla had not spoken to him? He would have, of course, continued on with what he knew. They went to the source when they made the correction. That is where the most impact can be made.
If you, as I recently did, talk with someone that will not see the truth, pray for God to send someone else that person’s way. Sometimes people let pride come between them and change. If they’ve been talking up the wrong thing, they may find it embarrassing to make the correction. The longer it goes on, the harder it becomes to acknowledge an error.
Today’s challenge is to ask God to make you sensitive to the truth of scripture. Ask him to empower you to go to the source – the root of the problem – and speak up when you hear false doctrine or misquoted scripture. You will be helping that person to understand more clearly the Word of God. You will also be making a difference for others in that person’s path as they go forward.