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But test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:21
I’m sure you’ve had to write an essay for class before. Sometimes I had to write an essay about my opinion on something, but most times, the professor wanted me to research articles to back up my argument. While it’s easy for most of us to think we know a subject well, I definitely can’t write a five-page, single-spaced paper without Google’s help.
The Bible is comprehensive. It touches on topics such as culture, social justice, friendship, politics, and the future. If you’re like me, you’ve sought other resources to further your understanding. Whether it’s a book about a particular theology, someone’s take on ministry, or an overview on the book of Esther, we have to be careful. Not everything is speaking truth.
There is nothing wrong with seeking more knowledge, but we have to make sure we are being led in the right direction. In addition, it is important to consider that our own theology, culture, and denomination can affect the way we view certain topics.
Still, our knowledge of the Bible matters. This ensures that we will recognize God’s voice when we read other resources.
There are also a variety of topics that the Bible addresses even though they aren’t spoken about extensively. For example, anxiety is a real mental health issue that you cannot just pray away. While some of us experience anxiety as a normal and healthy emotion, for others, it is a chronic disorder. Seeking help for your anxiety might mean reading up on medical journals to find out more about it and how to treat it. But do these journals line up with what the Bible says? Actually, in many ways they do!
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” - Isaiah 26:3
When you have anxiety, there is a need for peace. Focusing on God instead of our fears is crucial. But this doesn’t nullify the importance of professional counseling, meditation, and medication. Even Jesus spoke to His disciples about His anxiety over the cross, retreated alone to pray often, and sought God’s counsel. These are real Biblical ways to deal with anxiety.
Testing resources against the Word deepens our faith. It’s good to have questions and to see how we can use a Biblical lens on everyday topics. After all, how can we navigate this life without knowing what’s true or good?
1. How does knowing what God’s Word says help us to answer questions to everyday complexities?
2. How does testing resources against God’s Word assert its authority over all?
All-knowing God, we can seek You for all that we need. Thank You for all the resources provided to help us understand You, ourselves, and the world around us. We want to live for You in deeper trust, Amen.
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