We find ourselves in the first week of a new year, a time filled with resolutions and promises to improve. These resolutions abound from weight loss to spiritual growth to financial freedom and everything in between. While the treadmills at the gym fill up and the budget cuts out things like your daily Starbucks, I have just one question to ask.
Who or what will inform you in 2015?
I believe, for the most part, many of us begin a new year with the best intentions. Based on our individual pasts, we choose to commit ourselves to certain decisions in hopes of a better future. The motivation seems pure enough, but as we begin to prioritize these new things in our lives, what gets pushed to the back burner?
I found myself in an interesting conversation with my dad today at my kitchen table. What began as light-hearted sharing of details and stories turned quickly into a theology lesson, which if you know me at all, you are not surprised by this in the least. He simply shared with me something that he believed based on what he’s experienced in his life, to which I challenged his thinking with this Scriptural command:
“Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:20
I spent the better half of the past several months studying the books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and I would have to say that this one verse is what challenged me the most. In particular, the phrase “test everything” is what leapt off the page at me, and I haven’t been able to shake the conviction that it brought.
Too often, I have found that my own beliefs have been shaped by what I’ve seen, heard, or experienced. This might not seem all that alarming to you or even off base at first glace, but allow me to explain. When it comes to faith in Jesus Christ, we must understand that ultimate truth is found in God’s Word. Everything else, even the wisdom and knowledge of man, will always pale in comparison. We err when we allow our experiences to inform our faith and what we believe about God to be true over the instruction of His Word. Do we take the time to hold up what we believe against the unchanging truth of the Bible and test it as we are instructed to do? Or do we swallow everything that is fed to us?
If there be any resolution you hold fast to in 2015, may it be a steadfast commitment to be informed by truth. Not emotion. Not experience. Not the words or wisdom of man. Be informed by truth. And truth has a name.