“Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food? Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” –Job 12:11-12, NIV
My husband has always been pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. The more exotic the better for him. Me, not so much, though I am becoming more willing to experiment. A little. Just a little. My favorite is still a cheeseburger with fries. (Though now I have to enjoy this without the soy-filled bun.)
When our boys were younger, if my husband ordered something unique at a restaurant, he’d sometimes offer to pay the boys (a nickel, a quarter, on occasion even a dollar) to give the new food a try. They rarely took him up on it. They knew that some things, like happy taste buds, are much more important than extra spending money.
If they did decide to try the new food, though, they were always so cautious! They’d touch it with the tip of a tongue. If it didn’t bite them first, they’d nibble just the tiniest bit. If that didn’t poison them, they’d try a small bite. Of course, if one approved, they all wanted to try the food—expecting to get paid, of course.
Wise adults probably don’t need to be quite so careful when tasting new foods. But this is how we’re to test new ideas.
- First, we pray for wisdom.
- Then we determine if the source of the words is trustworthy.
- Next we read or listen carefully to be sure we understand.
- Finally, we compare and contrast the new idea with words we know to be true: those coming from the Bible or from trusted Bible teachers who’ve proven their determination to study God’s Word and present it accurately.
We don’t accept the new ideas as healthy ones unless they pass these tests.
As we grow older, if we’re persistent about testing words in this way, we’ll become more familiar with God’s Word, we’ll come across fewer new ideas, and we’ll more quickly ascertain what’s worth our time and what’s not. God’s wisdom and understanding will have taken firm root in our life. We’ll know where to go when we need healthy words to nurture our souls.
Lord, please teach us to test new ideas with caution as if tasting a new food. We want to grow in wisdom, to fill our minds and hearts with words that honor You. Amen.