The “Berean principle”

“For You are my hope; O LORD God, You are my confidence from my youth.” Psalm 71.5

As a child, church attendance for me was not optional. Not that I really minded, because that’s where my friends and extended family went too. In the small town I grew up in, church on Sunday was as much a community gathering as a spiritual event. It was natural for me to believe what I was taught from people I knew and trusted. And, over time, I discovered firsthand that what they said and taught was truly trustworthy. That’s because they also taught me to carefully weigh out what they taught against the infallible standard. From them I learned what can be called the “Berean principle,” found in Acts 17:11. According to this verse, believers in an ancient city named Berea were commended because, “they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” They had a passion for hearing Bible teaching, and checking for veracity. I was strongly encouraged to do the same.

Like many teens, my commitment wavered for a time. Church-going became perfunctory rather than purposeful. Personal skepticism supplanted Bible teaching, at least for a time. But the reality of a timeless truth bore fruit in my life: “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 As an adult, well past childhood, I find peace, joy, confidence, and hope on the path mapped out for me in childhood by loving family and friends. I heartily agree with the Psalmist: “For You are my hope; O LORD God, You are my confidence from my youth.”

- From the upcoming book, "Hope for Uncertain Times."

©Steve Taylor, 2018 --Used by permission

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