Today’s is one of those posts that practically writes itself. I just needed to discern where to start.
Acts 17 (ERV)
:1 Paul and Silas … came to the city of Thessalonica… :2 The next three weeks, on each Sabbath day, [Paul] discussed the Scriptures with them. :3 He explained the Scriptures to show them that the Messiah had to die and then rise from death. He said, “This Jesus that I am telling you about is the Messiah.”
:5 … the Jews who did not believe became jealous…
:10 … the believers sent Paul and Silas to … Berea. :11 The people in Berea were more open-minded … They were so glad to hear the message… they studied the Scriptures every day to make sure that what they heard was really true.
:13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was telling people God’s message in Berea, they came there, too.
The people in Thessalonica only heard the message, only on the Sabbath, and actually only on three Sabbaths. The people in Berea studied the Scriptures every day (for themselves) to make sure that what they heard was true. Pretty obvious what the lesson is from these verses.
I have to confess, there are times I’ll see a post on social media (akin to hearing?) and not do any research for myself to see if it’s factual. Frankly, I simply get incensed at first glance – because what’s presented as truth is so egregious. That’s being like the Thessalonians. Trust me, my friends do call me out on this, so I’m learning to be more like the Bereans, taking the time to research thoroughly what I ‘hear’. I want to test the truth of it before I, in turn, believe, and certainly before I ‘pass it on’ (aka gossip?)
The funny thing is, I spend time in God’s Word and in prayer and journaling every day, but don’t apply this to other topics. I’ll say,”I don’t have the time to look into this.” (Hey, the Red Sox looked pretty good last night. And, by the way, I gained a level during the hour I spent on a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG). )
Yet, strangely enough, the people of Thessalonica – who had just heard the message, were so upset and motivated that they took action, and actually traveled (aka went out of their way) to Bera. This seems to me eerily similar to the protesters of today. (Note: Not to sensationalize, but I’ve seen stories that people are being paid to protest – not sure this is factual. I’m just sayin’.)
I hope you see my point. I look at the state of the world today, and I think I see many, many more Thessalonicans than Bereans. Maybe it is true that today we can trust what we hear less than in the past, but it is definitely true that we have the ability today to quickly (aka google) get access to a slew of information (and sometimes carefully reasoned opinion) to hold an informed view on the matter, instead of just relying on hearsay.
The Bible says that we are at War in the heavenly realms. I believe life during wartime is a fulltime -er battle. We’re not fighting people, however, and the main area of conflict is our thought and spiritual beliefs. Only taking the time to study will prepare us for this.
Can you take the time?