“Don’t believe everything you hear.” Did you ever hear a parent or teacher say that? These days that applies to every kind of media we experience. Especially in a campaign year! One of the pervasive marks of our age is exaggerated marketing. Everywhere we turn someone is promising something guaranteed to change our lives. This isn’t new But we have gotten much better at it. My first memory of this is seeing advertising for X-ray glasses and Sea Monkeys in my favorite childhood comic books. Somehow they just didn’t live up to my expectation.
Back to the point: don’t believe everything you encounter. We all know and embrace this truth but the problem is in the follow-up swing. How can we figure out what or who to believe? If we get this wrong with x-ray glasses or sea monkeys it is not that big of a deal. But what about eternal things like the purpose of life, the true God, life after death and what it takes to survive final judgment- if there even is one? Religious media has grown into such a large business that even in that world there is much taught that is simply not true. What you base your life on and how you live it our matters.
In our post relativistic age few are willing to claim an anchor of truth to help define reality for living life well. Most advise some form of going with your gut while the rest of the room nods with affirmation. But there are so many conflicting voices , honesty requires us to admit they can’t all be correct. What if God is real? What if we are accountable to Him? What if we listen to the wrong voices and get it wrong when that moment comes?
This week’s passage (1John 4:1-6) warns us about being gullible spiritually. It then offers two keys to discerning reality from deception. God clarifies an anchor point for all willing to accept it: Jesus. For true believers, Jesus is the anchor points that defines everything. Jesus is the measure by which everything assessed. That which does not square with Him should not be embraced. For those of us who believe the true God of the Bible this will help us assess and filter what we hear from the many claiming spiritual authority in this world. See if you can recognize the second key to determining who to believe. Join us Sunday as we worship our Father and look to His word together.