Occasionally, you might spot a Facebook page promising a Toyota 4Runner to some random user who shares the page.
Naturally, those pages are fake. They’re newly created, lacking Facebook’s verification symbol. Reminds me of that watershed of generosity, the Nigerian prince, who somehow dug up your email address and settled upon you(!) to receive his inheritance.
Baloney radar, start beeping. It claims to be good news…but how do you know?
I’m staggered by our willingness to accept any agreeable thought that crosses our minds. If it feels good, offers resolution, or minimizes emotional resistance, it stays.
Me? I’m leery about even the most encouraging thought, like a hiker balancing on a shifty rock in midstream, unless I know it comes from God. Unless an idea has his royal stamp, I’m holding onto it loosely at best.
You’re probably bracing for a dry, theological rant about how what feels good is not necessarily truth.
Well, yes, but that “necessarily” matters. Sometimes, a thought tickles our ears for good reason. Some theological truths can make us feel amazing. Though he is too big to wrap his existence around our emotional states, God still cares immensely about them. Otherwise, vast swaths of Scripture would not have been bothered with.
So…how do we know?
I mean, you and I have crossed dark places because of lies we couldn’t spot. We believed we were inadequate, that we had to be someone else to be loved. We believed that we had to control others, step on them (or over them), to get due credit. Though they look like a dark alley now, those thoughts looked agreeable at the time because they seemed to offer a way out. It’s a testament to our minds’ deceptivity.
How do we know what will really make us happy?
Take the news that God’s grace is a free gift, independent of our merit. It’s the best news we could hear. Yet our baloney radar fights it tooth and nail – we insist on a system where it must be earned. That’s why we fear losing God’s love after we sin. Our incredulity at such abuseable love surfaces at the worst possible time.
How do we know it’s true?
We know because God’s Word holds it true.
Massive allergy-trigger-word, I know. Doctrine isn’t popular. Too many feel that it’s used to stifle joy and freedom rather than give life.
Yet doctrine also conveys amazing, true-beyond-all hope. There is a steadying quality in elevating Scripture above all. It eliminates the middleman of our own minds. Though some doctrine is difficult, with the bad comes incredible good.
It’s true that cults invoke this logic, gaslighting our intellect to cow people into subservience. But those cults don’t rely on (or don’t correctly interpret) archaeologically reliable documents that claim God’s inspiration. I mean, Scriptures is our only source of Jesus (one reason he lived in obscurity – to prevent the existence of fifteen “historical Jesuses” waiting for their own A&E specials). If we love him, why would we reject the rest of his words?
This is why this blog elevates Scripture above all. I trust what’s outside of me. It’s not about chasing our own happiness, for only Jesus knows where happiness lies. It lies in him alone!
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