One night this week, as I was driving home, I noticed a big flashing sign that said a part of the highway would be shut down. I made a mental note, but I didn’t worry about it because the sign said it would be open during the times I normally travel.
So I got on the road the next morning and approached the highway junction, and I was surprised to see a sign that said: Right Lane Closed Ahead!
Well, the other sign had said it would be open. Was it wrong?
Not wanting to take any chances, I jumped into the left lane and continued on. And continued on. And continued on. And surprise, surprise, surprise—the right lane wasn’t closed after all.
I could have trusted that first sign, but I wasn’t sure.
Has that ever happened to you in your faith? You heard the truth first and then someone contradicted it and you questioned your beliefs?
It’s happened to me. I think I know what I believe and then someone I respect or someone who I think knows more than I do tells me I’m wrong. And it shakes me. And I spend a lot of wasted time worrying that I’ve been making the wrong decisions.
I used to stress myself out, but that doesn’t really accomplish anything. I don’t learn anything from it, that’s for sure.
What I have learned to do is to go to the source when I have a question. If it’s a question about work, I go to my boss. If it’s a question about writing, I go to books I trust. If it’s a question of faith, I go to the Bible.
Today’s verses are 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
The Bible claims to be the Word of God over and over again, which is different than any other religious type of manuscript. I spent nearly 1,000 words yesterday morning on how the Bible is different from other books, so I won’t rehash that here. Here I’m just going to assume that if you’re a Christ-follower, you believe the Bible.
The Bible should be our go-to source for how to live our lives. Not talk shows. Not 12-step guides. Not our friends. And not even our family members. Yes, consult them. Yes, get their thoughts. Consider their opinions. But realize that the one source for truth is the Bible.
Why? Because the Bible came from God. God inspired the writers of the Bible to pen the words He wanted so that throughout the ages, God could speak to His people.
If you want to build a house, you have to know your foundation is strong. If you want to sit on a chair, you have to know it’s going to support your weight. And if you want to make a difficult choice about your faith, you should know that what you’re being told is true.
It’s okay to question what you’ve been told. It doesn’t matter if it’s your pastor of 20 years. It doesn’t matter if it’s your best friend of 10 years. Your parents? Your siblings? Your coworkers?
I’m not saying don’t trust them. I’m just saying think twice before you put your life in the hands of someone else’s interpretation of Truth without checking it out for yourself.
In the end, the person responsible for your walk is you. The person who will be held accountable for his or her choices is you. You won’t be able to shift the blame because God knows your heart. So you’d better be sure you know what you believe and why, and when someone questions what you believe (and they will), you’d better be prepared to seek an answer in the right place.
Christians can be the most critical people on Earth. We think we know best, not only for ourselves but for everyone else around us. And maybe we’re just trying to help, but I really think in many instances we do more harm than good, especially when we preach at people and refuse to actually help them when they need it.
So don’t let someone’s disagreement shake you. People will disagree with you, and that’s okay. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree. But that doesn’t mean your faith has to get weaker.
Actually, when you have a question about your faith and you take the time and make the effort to seek the answer in the Bible and ask God for His help, you’ll find your faith gets stronger.