Competence to Instruct

Nancy Hatcher, Volunteer Writer, South Barrington | November 8, 2023

I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.
Romans 15:14

We were the early birds at our school. My friend was nicely put together, but I was not. Many a day, I came in with wet hair quickly scrunched in a ponytail. Our relationship was forged from 6:25 to 6:40 a.m. daily. She was my spiritual mentor—like Paul to me. And I loved her so. 

One day, we discussed my daughter’s latest break-up—I had really loved her now former boyfriend. Feeling discouraged, I said, “I thought he was finally the one.” Her eyes shone with loving kindness. “Nancy, trust the Holy Spirit; He knows the right person for your sweet girl.” I know I stuck out my lower lip after she said that. I admit I struggle with constructive criticism.  

Paul wrote today’s passage reminding Christians of what they already know, just as my morning friend did with me on many occasions. Paul, a spiritual mentor to many, was known to be a “man of tact.” In Romans 1:1, Paul claims to be “a servant of Christ Jesus.” Whatever God asked him to do, he did—not in his strength but with the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit changed Paul from a persecuting hater of Christians into a man filled with goodness. Though he was still imperfect, he told the people living in Rome that God filled them with goodness and knowledge enough to be competent to instruct one another.

Does he say we need a pedigree? No. Does he say we need to memorize the book of Romans to be able to teach others? No. Can imperfect people share the love of Jesus with other imperfect people? Yes! 

But Paul is also gently saying to you right now that goodness is required, and it comes from the knowledge that Jesus took our place on the cross and was buried under the mound of our sin. On the day of our conversion, eternal life begins, and we gain access to the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. He fills us moment by moment so that we can confidently share His goodness with others. 

Next Steps   

If you are a Christ follower, do you have a confidante who loves the Lord and you? If not, pray for this. Pray for someone who can speak truth into your life. 

Do you feel your roots go deep? Can you grow them deeper and deeper in love and knowledge of Jesus? The answer is yes, yes, a thousand yeses! I can hear your voices as I type this. We can all grow our roots deeper. 

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