What You Don't Believe
By: Jim O'Brien
Believing may be one of the most difficult things for a human to do. Yet it's the most important.
When a man opens a business, he "believes" he can make it succeed. His employees don't have to believe-there will still be a paycheck for them at the end of the week. The owner may work without pay but he continues because he believes in the cause. Such people deserve the financial rewards they receive because they acted on a vision invisible to the ordinary man.
When I board a jet to fly to another city, I believe in the laws of aerodynamics. But there were three million people who boarded a commercial flight yesterday without incident. The Wright Brothers believed without seeing anyone else conquer gravity before them. In fact, others had failed. They believed-putting their lives on the line-in spite of the failure of others.
Two blind men came to Jesus asking to be healed so he asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" (Matthew 9:28). It was their belief that enabled the process.
We don't think about it often, but the survival of the universe depends on the existence of One who is trustworthy. Man has to believe that there is a Creator whose word is absolute.
But there's another side to the coin. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. You can't believe everything. People who believe something that is not true are gullible. I believe. But what I don't believe is equally important.
Hard as it may be to understand, there was a time when Jesus warned people NOT to believe. He talked about a future time when people will say, "'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand" (Matthew 24:23-24).
It is as important to not believe a lie as it is to believe the truth.
Growing up in a small town in Western Kentucky I believed my parents, the minister and Sunday School teachers, the neighbors that lived around us and the teachers at school. It was a shock to go to a religious college and find professors teaching biblical courses who did not believe the Bible.
For the first time I learned the value of not believing.
Since then I've learned not to believe a lot of professors. I don't believe the college professor who says we evolved. I don't believe schoolteachers and administrators who tell us there are more than two genders.
I especially don't believe the news media. I don't believe politicians who promise to lower the sea level or change the temperature of the globe.
There's something else I don't always believe-my emotions. When I find something in the Bible with which I disagree-I still believe the Bible. Because "the heart is deceitful above all things...." (Jeremiah 17:9). I've learned to doubt my own wisdom.
There is only one being in the universe that I believe is right 100 percent of the time. God. And it makes me wonder why man is so prone to believe the unbelievable and still doubt the only One that is true.
Until next time,
Pastor, Church of God Cincinnati
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