What do you base truth on? When you hear a sermon or someone makes a comment about how a person should act, dress, talk, and live their life as a follower of Christ, how do you decide what is true? There seems to be constant discord when it comes to what is right and what is wrong. One reason for such discord is due to the feelings involved with this topic stemming from generic assumptions of Christianity rather than a knowledge of the Word.
We often make comments that are fueled by an emotional rebuttal to something we’ve heard that we didn’t like. Thus, because our feelings are now hurt, “that person must not be a true Christian!” However, does this give us the right to not show love and forgiveness in return? If we are not careful, we will begin to think and act like the very people we disagree with.
In Acts 17, Paul and Silas had to leave Thessalonica due to an uproar among the people and they were sent to Berea. Verse 11 states, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” The Bereans studied the scriptures for themselves so they could verify or disprove what they had heard from Paul. We should always compare what we have heard to what the Bible actually says, not what we assume it means.
We must be aware of how our reactions impact others. Even when we disagree, we can still respond in a Christlike manner. We are often too quick to put others down for something they said, yet in doing so we also have neglected scripture in regard to love, patience, kindness, and self-control. Be sure that in your zeal to do good, you do not forsake the virtues of Godly living. The ignorance and close-mindedness of others does not give one the right to cease from producing fruit and allowing their light shine. We can become so concerned about the candlestick of others that we let our on flame go out!
Let me encourage you today to dig deeper into Bible study. Get out of the habit of saying, “Christians ought not…” and discipline yourself to repeat what the Bible actually says, then give chapter and verse. In doing so you are gaining an understanding of the message and a truth that is less likely to waiver. The Bereans set a good example for us in seeking the truth about what they had heard. Do your own research. Don’t place your eternity in the assumptions of others, place it in truth… truth that you have found for yourself. Truth that has become unshakable for you. Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
I pray, “Lord, give me understanding. Let me not be quick to put others down, but to see where they are coming from so that spiritual discord can begin to mend. Let me be more concerned with what I am doing and less with what others have said. Help me to say what I believe, live what I say, and believe only truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.”