I was in the 5th grade and was doing my math homework one night (and anyone who knows me knows how much I hate math) and I kept asking my mom, “What’s so-and-so times so-and-so?”, over and over until she lost her patience with me and snapped, “Figure it out!” So, I did. I added and added and added until I got the answer. I know for certain that 7×8=56 and you can bet it will remain with me for the rest of my life.
So, here’s a question for you: Why do you believe what you believe? Because your childhood Sunday School teacher told you a Bible story? Because your pastor preached about a passage on Sunday? Because you read something profound in a book by a smiling author? There’s a malady in the church called biblical illiteracy. It simply means most people in the church don’t know the Bible very well. We know Bible story sound bites. We know a few verses (mostly taken out of context). And we know what the culture tell us – that God is all and only love and doesn’t want us ever to be unhappy or deny our “true selves.”
What we believe is too often just what we’ve been told – but not what we know. And there is a difference. What you’ve heard just sits in your ears, but what you know takes deep root in your heart and, like your circulating blood, affects every part of you. If your faith is built on others’ thoughts and opinions, how can you be sure you are building on solid truth? When someone challenges your belief, you can’t make a good defense and it all starts to crumble. But if your belief is built on what you have mined from the Scriptures and chewed on and have wrestled your heart and mind into submission then your faith will stand up against the questions of the world. Like my math equation, what you invest in stays with you.
Paul said, “I know whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). Are you convinced that what you believe will hold you up? As Christians come under fire, it’s more important than ever that you know what you believe – and why you believe it. And it’s eternally important that what you believe is the truth. Beloved, you don’t just need to know about religious-sounding stuff. You need to know the truth.