Read 1 Corinthians 13:9-12
9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (NLT)
Over years of writing either newspaper columns or radio scripts or daily devotions, I am sometimes asked why I don’t tackle some of the really big issues of faith and life. My response is that, with the limited space and word count I have, I cannot do justice to many complex issues. I can provoke some thought and offer encouragement to explore, but trying to summarise certain more contentious matters in a few words risks dangerously misleading people through over simplification.
One more reason never to try to debate or even discuss certain faith and life issues on social media (some of which is actually very anti-social!). In our desire to make a point which may be valid and biblically orthodox, we fail to realise we are using words and describing concepts that are utterly misunderstood by the world at large. It may make for what the media call a ‘snappy sound bite’ but it fails to deal with the nuances and subtleties that are part of much of our faith. Rather than encouraging people to examine our faith, some statements can simply cause people to dismiss it out of hand or even despise it.
Paul says that we don’t know all we would like to know. We don’t always see things with perfect clarity. The core of our faith may be clear enough but there is much mystery and complexity around the edges. We need much wisdom in knowing when and where to speak firmly and when and where to admit we don’t have all the answers. Slogans and sound bites are no substitute for such wisdom.