What am I recommending here? I propose you take time periodically to review some of your core beliefs and try to see where you can grow in your depth of understanding. If you haven’t changed your opinions on any Biblical truths in a while, then simply put, you aren’t maturing.
If you found that last paragraph distasteful because of my use of the word “opinions” when it comes to what you believe, then you probably won’t see any need to reexamine what you “think” you know. In reality, there is absolute truth, and God wants us to comprehend it. Sadly, many people prematurely think they’ve “arrived,” or they won’t take the time or put forth the effort to reach the truth. And yes, you form opinions and you likely hold to these opinions as if they all are 100% accurate, but we should know we are fallible. Another way of saying this is, a little humility goes a long way.
The idea here isn’t to cause insecurity in your beliefs, instead it’s quite the opposite. The best way to deepen our confidence in our accumulated knowledge & comprehension is to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (II Tim 2:15). One result from this approach is having a faith we can share confidently with others, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” (I Pet 3:15). This calls for studying God’s word, seeking to interpret and apply it accurately, which all requires a personal dedication to thinking through what we think we believe.
In other words: Don’t just take the word of the preacher or of your mentor when it comes to the Bible. Trust the Holy Spirit to guide you. We also need to be more like the Bereans in Acts when they checked for themselves regarding the things they were hearing from Paul & Silas, “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
One of the best ways we can grow is when we challenge our thinking by bouncing our ideas off of each other. Consider Prov 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” I have a good friend, for example, who I love dearly. We see some doctrines quite differently from each other. Neither of us, thankfully, let our differences interfere with our relationship. We don’t try to browbeat each other even though we have solid convictions. Hopefully my friend will come around to my line of thinking in some areas..., and hopefully I will gain some better understanding from him in others.
If you always read the same translation when you study the Bible, surround yourself on Sunday solely with people who agree with you on every point, and you hesitate to rethink key portions of the Scriptures, you probably don’t have an ownership of your faith. You might be faithful, please, I’m not questioning that. But you might have settled for a borrowed faith or a faith that’s in a state of arrested development. Please don’t settle.