One of the most prominent shows from my childhood memory bank is “The Reading Rainbow.” LeVar Burton, who was the face and voice of the show for over 20 years, had a catchphrase that simply stated, "but you don't have to take my word for it!" He would say this to encourage viewers to read the books for themselves. Learning from Mr. Burton and the show was great. but there was so much more to learn by going back and reading the book for myself.
The principle of "you don't have to take my word for it" seems to have been forgotten. Nowadays, people would rather just take the word of someone else as truth without taking the time to do any research of their own. This is a dangerous habit to form, because even the most honest individual can make a mistake and misspeak about a matter. It is important for us to be informed. but it is more important for us to ensure we have the correct information. Not only is it important, but it is also Scriptural to do our own research.
“He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 18:13
This verse warns against giving a response before hearing the matter out is a shameful thing to do, yet many do exactly that. They hear one side of a story, and that is good enough for them. That is a dangerous way to live. This is not directed just to our news but also our Bible information. God’s Word warns us that there will be false teachers who will come to bring confusion. It is hard to be confused about the truth when you have been diligently studying Scripture for yourself.
In Acts 17, the Bible tells us that the Bereans were more noble than those in Thessalonica because they searched the Scripture. When we fail to study it out for ourselves, we are only robbing ourselves of the blessing God has for us. Over and over, Scripture encourages and even commands the believer to read and study the Word. Hearing the preacher preach is great and listening to the Christian testify is wonderful but studying the Word for yourself is so refreshing. The psalmist was correct when he penned the words,
“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103.
But you don’t have to take my word for it.
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