It’s June, and my thoughts automatically turn to my father. Dad passed away on Father’s day morning, June 21, 2009, a bittersweet time in the life of our family. We knew we would miss him terribly, but we also knew he was now in the presence of his Lord and Saviour.
Dad taught me many things. He spent hours teaching me to throw a ball, ride a bike and drive a car. The time he spent with me was special, and it mattered to me.
One phrase that I remember him saying is: “Debi, don’t believe everything you read.”
These words came to mind as I thought about all the conflicting messages we are given throughout a day. Dad gave me that warning years ago referring to the local newspaper which was the main source of daily news at that time. If dad were to warn me today, he would need to include all media. We have media messages assaulting us everywhere. How do we determine what is true? How do we know which products are best, which ideas are true, and which politicians we can believe? We must be diligent and do our research.
One of our daughters faced an important life decision several years ago. I happened to watch Oprah one day and she was addressing the subject our child was facing. The way the subject was handled helped me formulate questions that I could present to our daughter. These were questions that she needed to answer before she could continue in this particular relationship. With God’s guidance, our daughter was able to make the right decision. Oprah’s program helped that day, in that situation, but, Oprah is not always right.
Today we have access to a multitude of people with a variety of philosophies and beliefs. Many of these people have great ideas and helpful tips, but when they begin to approach spiritual areas, we need to have discernment. Remember Satan’s purpose, since his first conversation with Eve, is to present us with lies, and half truths. Through “popular thought” and “modern ideas” he is able to confuse us. No one person is always right, and no one is always wrong. We need to study these things for ourselves. We need to be sure any “new” ideas are in tune with God’s Word. If we spend quality quiet time in His Word, asking Him to show us His truth, He will help us discern real truth.
Before accepting a new idea, be sure to study it in light of all scripture, and seek the council of men and women in whom you see God at work consistently. Remember God’s teaching in Philippians 1:9-11:
“9 And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, 10 so that you can determine what really matters and can be pure and blameless (T) in the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that [comes] through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
Debi Snider... more