Skip to main content

Get out the sifter

Have you ever been told you were a little too gullible?  In the most literal sense, we probably all start out a little too gullible, for the meaning of the word is that of being easily cheated or deceived.  We often call someone who is gullible a little too naive - they lack the experience, judgment, or information to make the right or "sound" decision.  Some of us have the experience, but lack the judgment, or even just don't have enough information to make the best decisions in the moment.  So, whenever this happens, we are literally being a little too gullible for our own good.  

The gullible believe anything they’re told; the prudent sift and weigh every word.  (Proverbs 14:15 MSG)

The gullible believe anything they are told - why?  It could be because they have never experienced whatever it is they are being roped into, so it seems credible (believable) to them.  It could also be they don't have all the information about the circumstances, but based upon what they know, they jump to conclusions.  Most of the time, it is one of these two issues which get us into the place of being deceived, but on occasion, it is our judgment which gets in the way.  We sometimes even "know better", but just head into the middle of the muddle head-long without much thought.  

Judgment is the ability to form an "opinion" in the moment which is based on objective information.  Too often our judgment is "clouded" by subjective information - those things we come to feel or interpret through out emotions in the moment of decision.  The problem with this means of making decisions is just how fickle our emotions are!  We cannot trust our emotions to be consistent, nor can we trust them to be trustworthy, because they are swayed by the influence of more than just our "reasoning".  Emotions are subject to the condition or state of our body at the moment (such as being well-rested, or bordering on exhaustion).  They can even be subject to the imbalances of a particular hormone in our system at the time of the decision.  Either way, we cannot trust them as the basis of using "sound" or "reasonable" judgment each and every time a decision has to be made.

The prudent sift and weigh every word.  This is an interesting analogy used to describe how the wise will take the information they have been given and put it to the test before they jump to conclusions or make a decision to act. In essence, to sift means to separate the "coarse" from the "fine".  In my younger years, I would observe mom and grandma using something when they baked which we seldom use anymore - a sifter.  They would shovel the flour into the device, then put it through the paces of the back and forth movement within this contraption in order to remove the "lumps" from the flour.  Why? It have the consistency of their baked goods a smoothness.  Sifting produces a higher quality of product.  

Sifting our "input" is important because we come to the place of removing the things which will "disturb" the consistency of our walk.  When we remove the "coarse" things, we are leaving behind the stuff which really should not be part of our lives in the first place.  At surface value, what we leave behind may not seem like much, but in reality, even the smallest "lump" affects the whole.  If you have ever eaten gravy with lumps in it, you know what I mean! The idea of weighing what it is we are "taking in" is also part of this analogy. In essence, when we sift the coarse from the fine, we are then left with what is the best information by which we are to make decisions.

I know some people who make decisions based upon a "pro" or "con" situation.  In reality, this is not always the most reliable means by which to make life decisions.  Although it may give us an idea of what may be okay versus not so beneficial in a circumstance, we rarely have the time to make our lists of pros/cons when decisions are needed.  We need to act on our feet and this method doesn't allow for this.  So, learning to make a quick judgment based upon the "weight" of the information we have is important.  The best "counter-weight" to what we are considering is truth - the truth contained in God's word.

This is why we are encouraged to be students of the Word.  To have access to the right counter-weights, we have to know what they are.  When we are fed a line we might not realize as untrue at first can quickly be compared to the counter-weight of what we know to be true as we have discovered in our study of the Word.  For example, if we know the truth that God loves us beyond measure, then we are fed the untruth that God has abandoned us at this moment, we can dismiss the thought of abandonment as contrary to what we know to be true about our heavenly Father.  

God doesn't want gullible kids.  He gives us truth to protect us from making decisions based upon a lack of information, experience, or judgment.  When we take truth in, we are developing the best means by which to exercise sound judgment, incorporate good actions which will lead to positive experiences, and file away information we can use time and time again to counter deception in our lives.  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,