Dr. James Dobson was once heard to say: ‘Children are the best receivers of information, and the worst interpreters of information.’ That means that little ones hear well and eagerly, but they have to process the information heard through the lens of their as-yet, limited understanding. A related, old adage says that many things are more ‘caught’ than ‘taught.’ This childhood ‘catching,’ if left unaddressed, is at the root of much adult wrong thinking and wrong perception and can lead to drastic consequences. We too rarely question the validity of these many ‘inherited truths’ that we live by because we too rarely give them any conscious thought. They remain valid in our thinking, shaping our attitude and behavior, solely by virtue of the fact that they ‘are.’ When those ‘caught’ things are good and healthy and helpful, we benefit greatly and they free us up to grow and mature. However, when ‘caught’ things are unhealthy and deceptive and demeaning, we suffer under a persistent cloud of doubts and fears and insecurities which become roadblocks on our path to maturity.
There are ‘caught’ Spiritual things, too, both good and bad. Conversations and language used in the home during a child’s formative years are major communicators of caught values. Love and belonging shared/not shared are also life markers caught. Involvement/non-involvement in Christian community are subtly transmitted, ‘caught’ values. A speaker once gave, as an example, the Apostle Peter, when he had the vision of the sheet let down from heaven with the unclean animals in it. Three times Peter refused to do as God directed. The speaker put it this way: Can you imagine? Peter was so convinced of the teaching of his Sunday School teacher, that three times he was able to tell God, No! (see the story in Acts 10)
As we continue marinating in the overwhelming and glorious truth of the indwelling Spirit of God (as part of our salvation experience), it’s important to consider whether we, too, have some ‘caught’ values sufficiently and powerfully lodged in our thinking that we could say (not aloud, perhaps), ‘No!’ to the things the Spirit says about us and to us. And that’s not to mention the Kingdom adventures the Holy Spirit outlines that have our names stamped on them! Check out these statements and see how readily you can see them being true for you, shouting: Yes! and Amen!
“… ‘realm of death’ describes our former state, for we were held in sin’s grasp. But now, we’ve been resurrected out of that ‘realm of death’ never to return, for we are forever alive and forgiven of all our sins! [Jesus] canceled out every legal violation we had on our record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict us. He erased it all – our sins, our stained soul – he deleted it all and they cannot be retrieved!
Colossians 2:13-15a, TPT
“So now the case is closed! There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One.”
Romans 8:1, TPT
“It is a wonderful thing to know that God is no longer dealing with us on the basis of our sins.”
“We don’t confess to be forgiven, we confess to be healed.”
James Bryan Smith
I think all these words are worth taping to our mirrors, our refrigerators, our steering wheels, our computers, and wherever else they’ll be likely to get ‘caught.’ PD