1 John 4:1-6

Whether it’s an election season or not, broadcast and electronic media remain filled with competing messages about who we should trust. This reality reminds me of a dialogue in Douglas Adams’ Life, the Universe, and Everything, a science fiction comedy:

“Just believe everything I tell you and it will all be very, very, simple.” “Ah, well, I’m not sure I believe that.”

How do we resolve today’s directive to test every spirit with the
command in Deuteronomy 6:16 not to put the Lord to the test?

Perhaps a patient who is dealing with an adverse diagnosis is the best example of how to test a message. If you trust your primary care doctor, should you seek a second opinion? A 2017 study by the Mayo Clinic found that almost 90 percent of all visiting patients who sought a second opinion from them had their initial diagnosis changed or modified; about 20 percent of the final diagnoses differed from the initial ones.

It’s so easy to believe someone when they tell you exactly what
you want to hear. However, we can avoid self-deception by grounding
our faith with time spent in prayer, Scripture study, and dialogue
with other believers.

Faith lived as an active verb rather than a passive noun deepens
our trust in God and deepens our capacity to discern the messages
we hear.

Consider

Author Marci Shinoff says, “Don’t believe everything you think.” How can we expose ourselves to different viewpoints so we can better understand others and be more open to different ideas?

Pray

God, help us learn to question without being argumentative, help us listen to gain understanding, and help us live in a way that honors you today. Amen.



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