by Brandy Webb
All my life, I was told that it was illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas because it is the state flower. I believed this for years, and I mean years. In fact, it wasn’t until a year ago that I finally decided to research it, and low and behold, it isn’t illegal. It hasn’t been illegal since 1973 to pick bluebonnets on the side of the road or, if you have permission, on private property. However, it is still illegal to pick them in state parks. If you want more information and verification, since my blog is about “proving all things,” you can go to: http://www.dps.texas.gov/director_staff/media_and_communications/2014/pr040414.htm
My main point of admitting to my ignorance about picking bluebonnets is to reveal that I held onto a false belief all of my life until recently because I never took the time to research it. I never took the time to prove if it was true. Do we sometimes do the same thing in our Christian walk?
How many of our beliefs are actually based on traditions of men versus actually backed by the Bible? I can’t answer this question for you, but I have had quite a few over the years that I took as fact to later find out that the Bible proved the teachings wrong. I am not going to go on a minister bashing here, but I will say that ministers/teachers all have one thing in common; they are human. Humans make mistakes.
Sometimes I believe God chooses to not open our eyes and ears to some truths until we have matured and are ready. Other times, maybe He causes some to be ignorant in the hope that those who are listening adhere to what the Scriptures state, “[p]rove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
The truth is each of us is responsible to prove all things. In the end, we each will stand before God and answer for every word that we speak (Matthew 12:36). I can’t blame anyone else for my own carelessness and ignorance. My accountability is mine alone, and yours is yours alone. We must strive to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). John is just reiterating a warning that Jesus said Himself: “Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
The good thing is that we are told by Jesus how to prove a false prophet from a true one; you will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:16). The Bible is very detailed in what are godly fruit versus the fruit of darkness. All it takes is some Bible study to prove the difference between the two.
It is our duty to make sure what we believe can be backed by God’s Word. I understand that sometimes we may differ in opinions in regards to what we believe. The foundation may be the same but there will always be scriptures that, due to their vagueness or just downright confusing rhetoric, our interpretations may differ. I’m sure it isn’t surprising to God at all that we don’t all agree on every scripture because the Word says “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17).
Not only are we supposed to prove things, but we are also supposed to be willing to hear differing opinions from other brethren. We may find that through the “sharpening of iron” we find out that we are incorrect, or we may convince the other person. Like I said before, we are human and we will always make mistakes, but as long as we are diligently searching the Scriptures we will probably make fewer mistakes.
Search the Scriptures; be like the Bereans who “were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if [the] teachings were true” (Acts 17:11). And they only had the Old Testament Scriptures. We have a complete Bible. We all have a great responsibility as we look to God’s Kingdom:
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth. Test and prove what pleases the Lord (Ephesians 5:8-10).