August 28, 2017

Is This Good Information?

Devotion for the Week...

I love knowing the names of the flowers and birds we see on our hikes, so I have books about both and we often refer to the books after seeing something new. I would love to know more about identifying all of the different rocks we see, too, but I'm still looking for a good book to help me there. If you know one, be sure to let me know in the comments!

Nathan likes to know names too, so he often asks me what something is while we're out hiking. A couple of weeks ago he asked me about a low growing plant with red berries that we see everywhere and I told him it's called cracker berry. Of course, the next question was, "Can you eat the berries?" I told him you can, but they really don't have much flavour, so we don't bother.

Nathan has recently made friends with a guy living up the road who is here from Jamaica and there are blueberry bushes near his apartment. While Nathan was taking Dane to where they could pick the blueberries, they passed some cracker berry plants and Dane asked if Nathan knew what they were, and if you could eat them, so Nathan repeated what I had told him. When he told me the story (on yet another hike where the woods were full of cracker berries), Nathan said, "I'm just using the information you gave me!"

We do that a lot, don't we? We get information from so many different sources every day - friends, family, news programs, social media, books, websites...Some of that information is good, some not so good. Sometimes we're specifically looking for information, like when we watch the news or ask questions or when kids are in school. Other times, though, we're not even aware that we're taking in and filing away information.

Some of that information we've filed away without realizing it could affect our view of God and what we think is His view of us. Someone who has an abusive or neglectful father will store that information under the category "what fathers are like," so when they are told that God is our Father, they are drawing on faulty information to create their image of God as Father. Someone who is constantly treated with disrespect and contempt will store that information under "my worth" and will struggle to believe that God could love them, while someone who is told they're stupid will file that under "my worth" as well and will believe they have nothing to offer.

With all this information coming at us constantly, we need to be paying attention. We need to be asking ourselves, "Is this good information?" This is true for all of the information we take in, but it is especially true of those things that affect how we view God and those things that affect how we think He views us.

The standard, of course, will be what the Bible has to say on the subject. If the information we're taking in doesn't agree with what the Bible says, then it is not good information. These are the things the Bible tells us:

1. God loves us.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" (1John 4:7, 8).

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

"But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness" (Psalm 86:15).

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

2. God made each one of us for a purpose and we are all precious to Him.

"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27).

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139:13, 14).

"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1).

"Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it" (1 Corinthians 12:27).
Weekly devotions on Christian living |
These are things we can trust as good information. Any information we take in that is contrary to what we read in the Bible is bad information and we should discard it immediately rather than filing it away. Often, that is easier said than done, but if we are aware that it is bad information at least, we can try to discard it each time it comes to mind.

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