After devoting so much time to rectifying scriptures in my mind, getting it all straight, I have found that sometimes I try too hard in the wrong way.
I have recently had to ask myself "why?" I think I have determined for myself that there are times I have to reconcile scriptures because they seem illogical when compared to other scriptures. Sometimes, they have seemed contradictory. Other times, and this is not so much for me as those with whom I have spend time discussing scriptures, because the finding goes against a previous teaching.
I have not had a great deal of history in churches, so I don't have as many pre-taught beliefs to worry about. I'd probably have lived a cleaner life if I had, but it is all history now and can't be changed.
I have come to a few simple thoughts that seem to help me now. My current mode goes like this:
I lean not on my own understanding. That being the case, I have to pick someone else's understanding - and I pick the writer/author of scriptures. If the author states something, then I accept that the teaching is true.
I quit trying to engineer the lesson and instead use the faith like that of a child. (Not to be confused with investigating to ensure that no translation biases have changed the words on me.) When I am comfortable that the word in English were accurately translated from the avilable manuscripts, I accept the words given.
When a truth is revealed, I accept it. It doesn't matter if I like it, if I want it, or if it hairlips a goat, I accept it. If it goes against a teaching that I recieved in the past, so be it. The scriptures hold more authority than the words given by a man.
Before someone writes to tell me not to forget to consider that some scripture was written to a specific group to address a specific problem, I know that. I accept that as well. Part of accepting the scriptures with the faith of a child is to know that listening to Daddy chew out my brother may well contain a lesson for me. It is all instructive and needs to be taken for guidance. God didn't not cover every eventuality with a written instruction, but He did give us a resource to go with when questions arise.
Now, in dealing with a revelation from scripture - I know that I can err. When a truth seems to be unacceptable to so many people, I go to a few trusted and kindred spirits and present my finding. Sometimes, the person I go to doesn't like the revelation, so I ask that person to persuade me of my error. If they can't, it firms up my finding. If they can, I go back to zero and start again.
I think it is very important to have people who will discuss issues with us that we question. My studies would be incomplete if I didn't have people to go to. While the final word is from scriptures, my efforts to remove my error from the finding are important.
Now I have three methods of recording my knowledge. I have a granite slate that absolute truth rests in. I have a clay slate that those things I believe I know are kept on until time to fire up the kiln. I have "sticky notes" that are standing by for research. Those items are less pressing or God has not given them to me yet for searching out.
Anyone else have a method that works for them?