I am not sure when it happened. Maybe it was during Bible College. Or perhaps during the turbulent first years of ministry. Or maybe it happened in the midst of trying to instill faith in my children. Whenever it was, it definitely happened.
What? you ask.
A shift in perception. A new way of describing my beliefs. Unlike some moments, there was no epiphany. No sudden revelations. Just a subtle move from one system of thinking to another.
It used to be I described my beliefs in terms of 'what.'
'This is what I believe about theology...'
'This is what I believe about the Bible...'
'This is what I believe about Jesus...'
But no longer! I am not confined to the world of 'what'! To me it is supremely more important to figure out who you believe.
Who do you believe about lifestyle choices?
Who do you believe about hope and love?
Who do you believe about salvation?
Why the difference? Because 'what' is subjective to my whim. I can choose this, or I can choose that. 'Who' is subjective to the authority of the person I believe, and when it comes to Jesus, there is no greater authority. Because 'what' is subjective to me, it can change and mutate, but 'who' is steadfast and reliable because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Also, 'what' leads to cold, legalistic religion. When I submit to 'what' I don't care about people, I care about rules. My concern is not about introducing people to Jesus, my concern is enforcing a law code. But the system of 'who' leads to relationship. As my relationship with Jesus grows, so does my desire to introduce others to Him, because only what He thinks matters and only what He does makes a difference.
Does this mean that 'what' is no longer important? No! but it is my contention that knowing the 'who' will lead to the 'what' and beyond!
What about you? Have you moved from 'what' to 'who'?