Did you ever learn something that seemed useless, totally trivia? For instance, did you know that the word “queue” is the only word in the English language that is still pronounced the same way when the last four letters are removed? Do you care? Or are you thinking—like I am—So what? It’s a fact that the skeleton of Jeremy Bentham is present at all important meetings of the University of London, and it’s a fact that slugs have four noses. You can find more semi-interesting and relatively useless facts here. Do these really matter? For the most part, no. Some people treat theology like this—like the facts of theology can be relatively useless and potentially harmful. After all, doctrine divides . . . right?
Now, it is true that not keeping the facts straight and in perspective can be hurtful, but I ran across this quote while reading a book review that really jumped out at me. The reviewer quoted Neil Anderson in Victory over the Darkness, where he said, “If what we think does not reflect truth, then what we feel does not reflect reality” (p. 156). That’s a great quote. Too many people are more concerned about how they are feeling about their lives than about whether their thinking reflects the truth around them. If your theology (what you believe guides how you think about things) isn’t correct, then how you feel, what fulfills you, what you enjoy, what you desire . . . all of these things will be an exercise in frustration and, if not corrected, destruction. Not only that, but what you are feeling right now—frustration, anger, love, depression—are all futile unless they are connected to truth. It’s sad, yet we all struggle with this. Therefore, to change how we feel is not just a matter of changing our thinking but thinking correctly about truth. That’s one of the reasons why the study of God’s Word or theology is so important.
Here’s another reason: The study of theology is really the study of the greatest Person in the universe—the most joyful, the most loving, the most interesting, the most compassionate, the most holy. Theology gets us out of our little world and puts us in His. When we realize our lives are really about what He is doing, that changes everything. If anything can change the way we feel, it’s knowing God our Father and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, better. No matter what you think or feel, here is ultimate reality.