Hook, Line and Sinker!

There are a lot of messages out there. They bombard us every day. I am looking out of a large window at a city street scene right now and every business on every corner is trying to sell a message to someone driving by. It’s almost impossible to get away from. You get on the Internet and their are ads telling you what you need to buy! Magazines are mostly just one big advertisement now right? The TV show 60 Minutes is more like 40 Minutes at best due to the constant commercial breaks. You can’t watch a Colts game without taking “media time outs” so you can be given a message from “our sponsors.”

Even our personal relationships and conversations with others are also often filled with ideas and advice! Everybody has an opinion and they often can’t wait to share it with you. 🙂 (This is what I often think when hanging out with a bunch of pastors…everyone is just sitting around waiting on someone to take a breath so they can then make their “point” known…haha).
On top of all of that, we then have those constant inner conversations with ourselves. You know, the ones where we talk to ourselves about ourselves and what is going on around us. We probably hear more messages from ourselves than we do any other person or business!
As many of my friends know, I am bi-polar and often struggle with both ends of the spectrum (mania and depression). During those times, what I most struggle with is the inner conversation that is taking place. I am hearing myself talk about myself…sometimes it is in confident, glowing terms and other times it is in negative, self-deprecating tones and the honest truth is…sometimes i give in, swallow the message and I believe what I am hearing. But that doesn’t mean the message I was hearing was true!

In Acts 17, Paul and Silas come to Berea and begin to preach the gospel. Those who heard the gospel received the gospel “eagerly”. But it then goes on to say that they “examined the Scriptures daily” to see if it was true. They heard what sounded like a good message and Paul seemed to check out…but they didn’t swallow it until they checked out if it was true or not. They went to the one source of absolute truth. God’s Word.

God has given us a message as well and it has been preserved through the ages and delivered to us through the Bible. The Word of God is reliable and authoritative in the fact that it was “inspired” by God. The very same breath that gave life to all of creation was “breathed” into Scripture and gives it life and power. It is the truth of God…about God…revealed to us. It is the only truly reliable message out there…as good as the other messages may sound or as horrible as they may sound.

So, I want to encourage you not to buy into every message you hear…but take it to the Word of God and see if it holds up. You may be surprised at what you find.

You may find that you don’t have to look a certain way to be accepted. You may find that having or not having that special someone does not define you. You may find that you can be loved even when you don’t feel like a success. That joy is not directly linked to material possessions. That your identity is not based on what you did or what happened to you when you were a child. That how you see yourself and the things you say to yourself may not be true and that you are of infinite worth to the creator. You may even find that the very thing you have been avoiding, blaming or even running from…is the very thing you need.

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