Test All Things

The United States government is in the process of issuing new designs for all of its paper currency. In light of this change, cashiers in banks, grocery stores, gas stations, and countless other retail shops have been placed on a heightened alert regarding the possibility of counterfeit bills being circulated. In fact, many of these cashiers have a special pen at their cash register with which they mark every bill that is larger than $10. If the pen leaves a clear mark, the bill is genuine, but if the mark turns black, the bill is counterfeit. This pen is designed to test each bill that passes through the hands of the cashier.


Interestingly, the Word of God admonishes each of us to do the same thing concerning ideas and actions. In 1 Thessalonians 5:21 the inspired apostle Paul wrote: “Test all things, hold fast what is good.” The Greek word he used for test is dokimazo, which was used in former times to describe the process that a person would use to melt down coins made of gold and silver to determine whether they were real or fake. Paul wanted the Thessalonians to test every idea and action to determine whether it was the truth, or whether it was demonic quackery sent to leave them spiritually bankrupt.

Today, the world is a chaotic place that is similar in many ways to the ancient city of Athens, whose citizens spent their time doing nothing else but seeking something new to discuss. Ideas slide across the checkout line of our minds at alarming rates. Atheism, euthanasia, prayer, worship, stem-cell research, polytheism, love, sex, drugs, and the New Age Movement, are just a few of the concepts that bombard the average citizen. What are we to do with each of these varied concepts? We are to have the counterfeit-checking pen of God’s Word in hand and use it to “mark” every idea that is presented to us. If the mark is clear, welcome that concept into our cash register drawer, rejoicing in its truthfulness. But if God’s Word black-marks any concept, reject it as the evil, useless counterfeit that it is.

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