It is amazing to me, when teaching the Bible, how often I hear phrases like this, “Well, I just don’t believe that.” With no more explanation than that, people dismiss new ideas and concepts. And they are surprised their faith isn’t growing.
Here’s the secret, are you ready? When you are not willing to entertain the possibility you may be wrong about what you believe, it is impossible for you to grow in your faith! When you hear a new idea and quickly dismiss it, saying, “I just don’t believe that,” you will never learn anything new and you will never grow.
You must allow yourself and your beliefs to be challenged. If you want to grow in faith, you must continually ask questions like:
- What biblical truth do I need to learn that I don’t already know?
- What biblical truth contradicts what I believe?
- What biblical truth contradicts how I’m living?
In order to find the answers to these questions, you will have to listen to ideas and concepts in which you don’t believe. Then, you will have to ask, “Why don’t I believe that?” Do you not believe that because of what your parents taught you? Do you not believe that because you simply don’t want to have to live that way? Or do you not believe that because it is not true?
When you hear a new concept or idea, do what the noble Jews of Berea did, “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Paul was preaching something new. If they had simply said, “Well, I don’t believe that,” they would have never obeyed the gospel and received salvation.
Instead, they were willing to entertain the possibility that their faith was wrong. They neither rejected nor accepted Paul’s teaching at face value; they simply examined the Scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true. When they found that his teaching was true, many of them abandoned their previously held beliefs and held fast to this newly found truth (Acts 17:12).
Are you willing to do the same thing? Are you willing to hear new ideas and concepts that challenge you and contradict what you believe to be true? Are you willing to neither accept nor reject what you hear until you have examined it in light of Scripture? And if you determine that what you have heard is true, are you willing to abandon your beliefs in favor of Truth?
That is the challenge. That is the only way we will grow in our faith.
I love you and God loves you,
P.S. What truth do you now hold dear that at one time you adamantly opposed? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.