If someone came to your door or called you and said they had something for sale that you really needed, how would you know if they were telling the truth? How could you tell if they really had your best interest in mind? More often than not, they probably don’t, but whether or not it is something that may benefit you, is up to you, as you should know yourself better than they do. If we try hard enough, we can likely convince ourselves that anything may be good for us (have you ever had buyer’s remorse after you made an emotional purchase). If others try hard enough or blow enough smoke, they may be able to convince us that something is true even if it is not. How can you tell the difference? If you know yourself and your family well enough, you know what is good and what is not good for you. Know the truth and then what is false is easier to disregard.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1
These days, there is a lot of discussion in politics and the media about what is true and what is not. In fact, the word of the year from a couple sources was ‘post-truth’ and ‘surreal’. When lies and half-truths are being regularly delivered, it is easy to get muddled in what to believe or not from a variety of people. Instead of being swayed by someone’s emotion, hold what they say up to the gold standard – what we know is true. In a post-modern culture which holds truth and tradition as suspect anyway, it is fairly normal for many to disregard the truth and hold fast to many a lie. As Christian, be thankful that we have something that has proven true yesterday, today, and forever…God and his Word.
If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 1 Timothy 4:6
Some people cringe when they hear the word ‘doctrine’. They may feel that it is harsh, stifling, academic, and restrictive. They may say that all you need is love and Jesus, but even good intent, when misguided can be harmful. Even with a basic knowledge of the Gospel, you can share this truth with others. But when people throw back dozens of objections and smokescreens, they are not open to hearing the truth, but often just want to argue away your faith. You can decide which conversations are worthwhile and which may not be productive, but holding to the truth is imperative. Even with believers, you can become drawn into discussions where you are splitting hairs over fine details of doctrine or interpretation, but for your own sake, it may be good to explore some of these issues and hold them to the truth of the scriptures. Being graceful in your speech while holding to the truth is not always easy, but is helpful to avoid either party becoming angry or hostile.
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 2:23-25
So, look for opportunities to engage others in conversation, and test whatever you hear or say against the truth found in scripture. It will make God’s Word more true in your life and much easier to discern what is truth from what is false in the world. Encourage others by sharing these truths and living them out as well. Share the truth in love with one another and be thankful you are standing on the Rock instead of a foundation that could easily give way.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:14-15
Strength and Courage in Christ,