Test everything. Hold onto the good. –1 Thessalonians 5:12
The story has been told about a young boy who was sitting in his Sunday school class when the teacher asked, “What is small and brown and is known for having a BIG bushy tail?” The little boy blurted out what he knew must be the answer. “Well, it sure sounds like a squirrel, but since this is Sunday school, I know the answer must be Jesus!!”
It is important that we as Christians do not get too comfortable with the standard Christian answer: Jesus. Instead of listening and thinking through teaching times, it is often easier just to passively listen, or to sit and daydream, or plan tomorrow’s schedule. The Bible tells us to carefully critique everything we hear against the authority of scripture accepting what is true and discarding what is false.
Jesus (quoting the prophet Isaiah) warned about people who although hearing words, don’t really listen, saying “…though hearing, they do not hear or understand” (Matthew 13:13). Jesus said that this was the result of a hard heart (Matthew 13: 15). It can be dangerous to either scoff at or accept teaching about spiritual issues without consulting the Bible for its truth. The Bible is our standard when it comes to issues of faith and life. Don’t be like the boy from the squirrel illustration. Be a thinking Christian! Make the effort not only to hear teaching but listen to it! Take the time to research and work through questions concerning your faith. And sometimes, you’ll even find that the answer really is Jesus!
1. In the past, what has stopped you from thinking through the words of a pastor, teacher, or a critic?
2. What can you do to make sure you do not fall in the trap of being an unthinking Christian?
Psalm 56:3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 John 4:1-3