When my oldest son was 4 years old, he came up to me one day and said,
“Mom, if you can turn a doorknob, you can make the perfect pancake.”
I was a little stupefied by this sudden outburst until he followed it up with,
“It’s fun for the entire family and it comes with a money-back guarantee!”
Hmmmm…can you say Infomercial?
It wasn’t the first time he had repeated something he had heard somewhere, and more often than not what he repeated was utterly meaningless when taken out of context or just plain old inappropriate. As with most children, he was a little sponge, soaking up everything he heard only to later wring it out all over the place.
Thankfully, as he grew, he learned discernment as to what was useful information and what was not. I am happy to announce he no longer spews forth verbatim infomercials.
This little story parallels our Christian walk. We start out young in our faith, soaking up everything we hear, but eventually, we must begin to think for ourselves. If we can’t, we may very well fall for any line offered by any person passing himself off as a Christian.
No, I’m not going to get into what I think is legitimate versus illegitimate Christianity right now, but there is a good rule of thumb you can go by…
Test it against God’s Word.
Make sure it’s not being taken out of context to fit someone’s personal views. Pray for guidance and listen for God’s leading. If you are believing something simply because someone who “seemed” like a good Christian said it, then you better rethink your position and test the belief against God’s Word.
Be a thinking Christian.
By knowing what you believe and why you believe it, you will be able to confidently stand up for your faith. You won’t worry that you are one tough question away from crumbling.
My oldest was simply repeating what he’d heard on TV. If I had begun to question him, he wouldn’t have known if the pancakes were perfect. He’d never tasted a pancake that had come out of this contraption and he couldn’t vouch for whether or not it was as easy as turning a doorknob. He didn’t know if it was truly fun for the whole family and he had never tested the money-back guarantee.
If you don’t know why you believe something or why your church believes something, find out. If you hear something said on TV by someone who appears to be a Christian, don’t just mindlessly believe what they say, check it out.
Now I’m not saying you should live the life of a cynic, always looking for the bad even where there isn’t any. I’m simply saying, if you aren’t thinking about what you believe and why you believe it, you’re going to have a hard time wholeheartedly worshiping God.
Get in God’s Word so you know what it says, then proclaim the Truth with confidence!