Monday, October 31, 2011

The Red Couch

I recently saw an internet advertisement listing a 'red leather couch' for sale for only $75. Several people had already responded to the ad and were trying to get the seller to reduce the price. So I entered the fray with a bid of $100. Needless to say, most of the others thought I was crazy to go above the asking price, but after all it was a leather couch in good condition, well worth $100.

The seller phoned me to arrange pick up and I asked her if it was in fact genuine leather, to which she assured me it was. She said it was her mother's and she was selling it for her. She gave me directions to her mother's house, and I thanked her for holding it for me until I could get it.

When I arrived on pick-up day, I was greeted at the door by a tiny, sweet, little 84 yr old lady. My 5'7" stature made me feel like a giant next to her. She was so precious as she warmly welcomed us into her home and took us to see the couch. When I saw it I knew it wasn't leather, but I liked it anyway and had already decided that I wanted it. The owner kept saying over and over again that 'it's not that fake stuff, it's real leather' and 'it's really thick leather, not the thin stuff they use today'. I didn't have the heart to tell her the difference. She was so sincere and truly believed she was telling me the truth.

Once the couch had been loaded onto Dad's truck I was able to pull back an edge of the fabric and my suspicions were confirmed: it was vinyl. But vinyl or not, I'm happy with it and it fits the spot I had chosen for it in our home. I didn't feel like I was misled because the women selling the couch didn't know it wasn't leather. They sincerely thought they were telling me the truth. But they were sincerely wrong.

Many times we can be the same when it comes to doctrine. One group of Christians will hold to one teaching or one interpretation of Scripture while another group will follow another. Both are sincere. Neither group is trying to mislead anyone. They believe what they are saying to be true. So how can we know which one to believe? Just the same way I did with the couch I bought. I read what the couch was made of. I was told what the couch was made of, but it wasn't until I actually went in person and investigated it myself did I see the truth.

If we want to know the truth concerning the Scriptures, we need to investigate them for ourselves. We can't just rely on what we hear, what is told to us. We have to search the Scriptures for ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them to us. If we are not sure ourselves about what a Scripture is saying, we can ask for help from a pastor or other teacher. Just like we take an antique to an antiques expert because they are trained in that field, we go to a pastor or Bible teacher because they are trained in the study of Scriptures.

It is good to be sincere in our beliefs but we don't want to be sincerely wrong. So it's important that we know what we believe and why. Paul told Timothy long ago, to study to show himself approved and we are to do the same. We need to study the Word and ask the Lord to correct us if we interpret it incorrectly. Let us be sincere and at all times, be truthful.

Philippians 2:12
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

1 comment

  1. Well written honey! By the way, I love the couch!