Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits …
1 John 4:1
In the book Built to Last, Jim Collins applies principles from the world of business to our personal lives. He suggests that every year we do a personal assessment. Among the questions to be asked: “What core values do we hold so tightly that we would never let them go, regardless of the cost?
At the beginning of a new year, that’s a worthwhile question. What core convictions anchor your life? Or, to put it another way, “What do you believe?”
Some people today think the idea of “faith” or “belief” is out of date. But all of us believe something. All of us place our trust in someone or something. How about you? Where does your ultimate allegiance lie?
John reminds us that the content of faith is as important as the act of believing. He calls us to “test the spirits” to determine whether our beliefs really come from God and are directed toward God. John realizes that all who “believe in themselves” or put their confidence in human social and political power will be disappointed.
The content of our faith does not come from within ourselves or even from the latest ideas or movements around us. The content of faith comes from God, who has reached into a fallen world and speaks with a voice of love and authority. We’ll learn more about this God and what he has to say to us in this month’s study.
Lord, keep me from placing my trust in anything but you. Give me the gift of discernment so that I can hold tight to Jesus Christ, whose name is Truth. In his name, Amen.
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