“Trust, but verify.” It was an old Russian proverb made famous in the late 1980s by Ronald Reagan. President Reagan took that approach when dealing with Mikhail Gorbachev over the INF (Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces) Treaty.
Reagan’s words came to mind recently while reading the Berean’s reception of Paul and the gospel message. Listen to how Luke described these eager learners:
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)
Most people seem to fall into one of two categories. They either tend to think they already know everything they need to, i.e., nobody can teach them anything – or, they’ll believe anything in town.
But what a wonderful balance the Bereans exhibited between being readily teachable, while not being naïve or gullible. They readily welcomed learning from Paul – but matched with their eagerness to learn was a willingness to do their own homework. They took what Paul spoke and compared it with what Scripture said. Why? – to verify that Paul was accurate.
How about you? When it comes to God’s Word, do you eagerly welcome learning; i.e., are you teachable? While learning, do you critically verify what is being taught? Or do you expect the preacher/teacher to do all the homework and just blindly accept whatever they say? Why not be of “more noble character” and “Welcome, but Verify!”
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