“And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”
The goal of every Christian should be to be a life-builder. It is always better to build lives than it is to tear them down. Life-builders will always find greater rewards at the end of life than the life-destroyers who are out to gossip, criticize, and who make it their agenda to critique everything an individual does. I would much rather fail at building lives than succeed at tearing people down.
The verse above shows the proper way to treat someone who is sincere but is not teaching truth properly. Instead of criticizing them and casting them out, the best way to deal with them is to show them the right way. The only way this will work is if the person has a sincere heart. You see, Apollos was probably a follower of John the Baptist and had not learned why God sent John the Baptist into the world as a forerunner of Jesus Christ. When they were able to help him, he willingly accepted their help for they did it in the right spirit. You will notice it says they “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” In other words, they taught him where he was wrong. These men were more interested in building a life than they were in tearing a life apart. If you are going to be a life-builder, there are several things you must keep in mind.
First, be willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. You will never build lives if you are quick to destroy people every time you hear them do something wrong. Just because they are teaching or doing wrong doesn’t mean they are doing it intentionally. People need a chance to grow, and you will never build people if you don’t give them the benefit of the doubt that they are doing wrong intentionally.
Second, don’t use a bomb to deal with every problem. Aquila and Priscilla handled the situation properly by taking Apollos aside and teaching him “the way of God more perfectly.” You will do yourself a favor if you learn that every situation doesn’t have to be a big drawn out ordeal. Many matters can be handled privately, and in doing so, you will build more lives.
Third, be willing to teach people when you see a weakness. The great thing about Aquila and Priscilla was that they were more quick to teach than they were to acquit of error. They understood that many people do wrong because they have never been taught any better. One of the reasons you need to study the Scriptures is so that you can teach others the “way of God more perfectly” when they don’t know what they are doing is wrong. You will build more lives by taking people aside to teach them than you will by quickly pronouncing them guilty of sowing false doctrine.
Fourth, have the godly perception to see the sincerity of their heart. The key to this whole story was the sincerity of Apollos’ heart. He wanted to do right, and he thought he was doing right, but he was also willing to take gentle admonition when he was wrong. You will always find that the sincere heart will gladly correct what they are doing when they are shown the right way.
Let me encourage you to become a life-builder. When you see someone is doing wrong, be the type of Christian who would rather teach them the “way of God more perfectly.”