Let Us Constantly Compare
If you have never known the truth about a matter, unless you have cause to question what you do know, you believe it to be the truth. Maybe that's sort of like looking for the answer to something in an internet search, and finding an answer, assuming it to be right. But in either case, do we know we are right?
Just yesterday, I did an internet search before calling a company, in an effort to have some knowledge to complete my conversation with what I thought would be a degree of intelligence. When I was told that I was incorrect, my split second inclination was to challenge her, because I thought I was right. Fortunately, she asked where I got my info, and I reluctantly told her, and she said "yeah, you can't believe everything you read on the internet!". I knew that before she so eagerly reminded me, but I also knew she was right, so I proceeded to embarrassingly inquire into the facts.
Now while that happened to someone who knew better, and should have approached the situation knowing better, how often do we allow one person, one talk show, one point of view to dictate what we see as truth? How often is it possible we are just flat out wrong, but walk around in the dark because no one has set us straight? We know it can happen, we know it does happen. When it comes to God and His directions for our lives, the doctrine of His church, our belief and understanding, is it possible we, with a sincere heart, are wrong about certain aspects and just don't know it? Surely we all know that is possible, and since there are thousands of different religious beliefs and doctrines out there, we know for a fact it must be true.
But what do we do? Perhaps over a period of years, we have allowed ourselves to be influenced, unknowingly. Perhaps the person who did that was our best friend, or even a preacher, and maybe they did it unknowingly as well, because they thought they had the truth. I can say in my lifetime, our society in general has drifted further and further away from what the Bible would proclaim as truth, but many people are blind to the fact, because they firmly believe whatever they have been taught, and they have not compared that belief with holy scripture. Because of that, when the truth is revealed they challenge it speaking blatantly against it, and in some cases shout down anyone trying to proclaim it. Often their reaction is "don't confuse me with the facts".
God left us His Word pure and simple. We need not consult man's opinions to have God's truth revealed to us, God already did that. Making certain we are following God's commands in an unadulterated way is of critical importance, it can determine whether or not we are in Christ Jesus, and scripture plainly teaches that if we are not in Him we are still lost, despite our best intentions. Let us make certain we are not part of those who have drifted from the truth, even innocently, but may have ultimately arrived at the point they are no longer interested in what the truth really is. Let us pursue truth. Let us diligently compare what we are taught to what scripture actually says on a continuos basis.
There is no better place to begin this self examination than with prayer, asking God to steer us to the truth if perhaps we don't have it, and steer us clear of any misunderstanding of His word that we may have unknowingly adopted. God certainly wants us to obey the truth. Certainly He's willing to help guide us as we verify that we have it. So my challenge for all of us today, whether we feel we may have been misled or if we feel we are standing firm, is to examine what we believe, and compare it to scripture very carefully.