As we watch events unfold before our eyes on television, we see expert after expert, group after group, individual after individual touting their beliefs and opinions on the many situations: race relations, response to authority, the economy, political debates, terrorism, immigration, parenting, marriage, gender identity… the list is seemingly endless. Who do we believe?
Who is right and who is wrong?
But it doesn’t end with the television talking heads. Water cooler conversations, debates within families, at church… everyone has an opinion. Inevitably, someone, in a fit of frustration because their point is not being accepted, will say (shout): “You always think you’re right!”
Proverbs 21:2, Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
Each one of us has formed our own beliefs. These beliefs are often formed through life experiences (real and perceived), the voices of others, and the philosophies that we have absorbed, whether in the home, in school, in the church, through traditions, or through the many avenues of entertainment (reading material, music, games, film, television, the internet, etc.) available today. But there is danger in allowing our world view to be formed by these means.
There is also danger in insisting that we are always right. When we come to this point in our thinking, we have become unteachable, refusing to produce humility to acknowledge that we might be wrong. Often, we will continue to walk in darkness on the issue in question, alienating ourselves from anyone who “does not see it our way.”
Proverbs 13:18, Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
Proverbs 12:1, Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
One of the greatest lessons my Dad taught me: “Melissa, you are not always right.”
Because of this lesson, I am constantly asking myself if I am right or wrong on different matters. He was right. I am not always right on issues.
Another great lesson: “Melissa, you can always know if you are right, or if others are right, if it matches God’s Word.” In other words, believe the Bible; don’t sway from it. As long as the Bible said it, taught it, illustrated it, I can rest assured that my thoughts, beliefs, actions will also be right, even if others disagree.
The Bible is my absolute. It is the final authority on issues. People will often say: “Where’s the chapter and verse on ______.” The Bible doesn’t always give chapter and verse. That is why there are times when I’m hesitant to provide said “chapter and verse.” However, God’s Word NEVER contradicts itself. God’s Word provides and teaches through “chapter and verse,” through the stories and illustrations of the lives spoken about who lived both for and against the Lord, through the principles found within it’s pages, through the parables Jesus taught. Then the Holy Spirit teaches us, speaks to us, through God’s Word when we take the time to seek Him for answers to life’s questions. If something seems to contradict another aspect of Scripture, rest assured, the problem is not with Scripture, it is with the reader. Continue to dig deep, ask the Lord for help. He will help you to understand.
James 1:5, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
1 Corinthians 2:13-14, Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
2 Timothy 3:16, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
So, am I right or wrong? I am sure that there are areas where I am wrong, where I still need to be taught by God’s Word. However, I know that if the Bible teaches it, I can believe it. I can stand firm; I do not need to apologize for my stance. I can unequivocally say: I am right.
Are you right or wrong? Be teachable. Seek God’s Word. Allow Scripture to form your beliefs and actions.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/87690240@N03/26011191914″>Looking at sunset – Los Angeles, United States – Street photography</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>
photo editing: Melissa Woltmann