There are three types of information that stretch me to grow as a believer and as a person.
1. Totally New Information. There is so much to learn in life, especially a life of faith.
2. Old Information Taught in a New Way. This is one of the genius methods of Jesus. The parables take many of the ideas found in the Old Testament and present them in a new way. Many times, the truth has slipped past us because of familiarity, a unique presentation can shake us and wake us up to new ideas.
3. Information from a Different Perspective. Sometimes I want to hear people who believe that exact opposite as I do. I want to hear how they view the world and how it makes sense to them. People like this push me to think through alternative ideas and thought processes.
Why do I tell you this?
I write this because it is easy for someone to slip into the trap of reading and listening to only material with which I agree. We read books we know we will like, by authors of similar thinking. We talk to people who have the same mindset as us. We listen to lectures and teachers who say things we already know.
My Monday encouragement is to stretch yourself. Talk to a person with which you do not agree. Listen carefully and ask questions. Read an article you know you will hate. Get a book that is not on your typical reading list. Expose yourself to information that will help develop your thinking.
To truly grow in your faith, you are going to have to move beyond what brought you here. In Matthew 13, Jesus tells of a seed and a soil that represent people and the gospel. One of them hears the word of God and receives it with joy, but because it does not have deep roots when difficulties come it dies. We must always be stretching our faith to its limits so that our roots will burrow deep in the soil.