“Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every king of evil.” (I Thessalonians 5:21-22 NIV)
I wish we all could trust everyone.
When I was in second grade, I learned a really hard life lesson. I learned that not everybody in the world had my best interest at heart.
It was the first day of school and our teacher asked us what was the best part of our summer vacation.
I was excited to share with my classmates about going to Adventureland that summer with my grandparents. I shared with them about the rides and was pleased to show them my prized possession. It was a pencil case that had Bernie Bernard on it.
The boy sitting next to me seemed really interested in my pencil case. He had a lot of questions about it.
The next day I got to school, and my new pencil case was missing. Coincidentally – at least that is what Mrs. Nelson said – the boy sitting next to me had a pencil case just like the one I must have lost. I protested to Mrs. Nelson, but she was not interested in what I had to say. She simply chose to believe the boy sitting next to me, who magically had a new pencil case on day two that happened to match the one I had shown the class on day one. Mrs. Nelson chose not to test everything.
If we fail to test everything, we will find ourselves fooled, especially in this world. God encourages us in Matthew 10:16 to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Heartbreakingly, there are people in our world that desire to get ahead by taking advantage of others’ kindness and love.
Our Heavenly Father clearly wants what is best for us, so he encourages us in I John 4:1 with this guidance: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (NIV)
The only way we can test everything is by knowing the truth. Otherwise we will be easily fooled by the slick-talking false prophets of the day.
So how can we know the truth? There is only one way and that is for us to read the Word of God. In the pages of the Bible, the truth is given to us. All we need to do is commit to reading it.
If we read the Word, it will be in us and when we hear the false prophets speak, we will have the tools necessary to be wise in regard to their words.
Don’t take my word for it. Please read your Bible and build your life on the truth that we have been given by God in love. He is the one we can be certain has our best interests at heart because he is our Heavenly Father.