The Neglected Uncle: Reasons to Learn from the Past
Would it be wrong to say that many modern Christians lack any familiarity with their own heritage? It’s a lot like that uncle you see at family reunions but never really talk to. Many times we forget those whom have lived and died in the past were as much a part of our church as our brothers and sisters are now. Like my own sister’s advice before I started courting/dating, a good sibling would try to protect and prevent us from doing what is right in our own eyes. How often we forget we are not the only ones God has saved and has given different gifts to!
Secondly, by reading and listening to those whom we have gone before, we can be motivated to continue running and enduring this life with full conviction of the promised reward we will have in the life to come (Hebrews). Their lives serve as a model and encouragement for us to finish what we are so close to obtaining.
Third, an added benefit is the wisdom we can derive from such men and women whom God has used to shape his church up till now, we can learn from their lives, and have them speak into ours. Before each decision, an abundance of counsel is provided. One only needs to look into the past. Eventually we can find that they have now become our teachers, disciplers and friends by merit of their own lives. Because each Christian is and was unique, different characters can speak to our own lives in different ways and same may in fact be very close friends.
Often, whenever a contemporary issue has popped up, one has only to look to the past to see that it was either as much of an issue then or one that has already been resolved. A modern example is T.D. Jakes’ modalism which was booted from the Council of Nicaea for undermining the trinity more than 1000 years ago! As the author of Ecclesiastes says, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Thoughts? Let me know what you think in the comments below.