If you want to know whether something you are hearing is truth or error, lay the word of God alongside what you are hearing.
(Designed for a father to read with his 12-year-old son.)
“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” ~ Proverbs 30:5-6
As you grow into manhood, you will hear a lot of people make claims that what they are saying is right and true and something that everybody should believe. But many of these things will contradict things that other people say with the same amount of confidence and authority.
How can you know who is telling you the truth and who isn’t?
We lived in a home once where do-it-yourselfers had added a wing. The door jambs were crooked. From a distance, they looked fine, but when you looked at them more closely it was easy to see that the outer jambs weren’t strictly parallel with each other, and the top jamb wasn’t strictly parallel with the floor. This meant that the door didn’t fit. There were gaps at the top of the door, and along the sides of the door, all of which let cold air in in the winter and hot air in in the summer.
How do expert carpenters avoid errors like that? They use what is called a level, usually two to four feet long and made of wood with a sealed glass or plastic tube right in the middle. Inside that plastic tube is a clear liquid, with a little air bubble in it. Now there are two black lines painted on that little tube which are exactly parallel. When the little bubble in that little tube is exactly between the two lines, you know that whatever you’re measure is exactly vertical or exactly horizontal.
If that level is laid on a flat surface, and the bubble is exactly in the middle, you know that surface is in perfect alignment. If the bubble is off center, you know it isn’t.
Lots of things look straight and true when you eyeball them from a distance. But it’s not until you use the level that you know for certain.
Well, the Bible is God’s carpenter’s level. If you want to know whether something you are hearing is truth or error, lay the word of God alongside what you are hearing. If it squares with the word of God, if it lines up with the word of God, it’s true. If what you hear is out of alignment with God’s word, no matter how good it sounds, it’s wrong.
As you move toward full manhood in these next years, you will hear a lot of people who will ridicule the Bible and try to convince you it’s nothing but superstition and man-made myths. Do not let these people lie to you!
The New Testament says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). The word translated “all” in that verse means “any and every.” That means no matter where you dip your foot in the pool of God’s word, you will be in touch with something that has come from the very soul and mind of God himself.
You can trust it above every human voice you hear. You are building a life, like a carpenter builds a house, one board, one decision at a time. Make sure every decision you make lines up with the word of God. Like a carpenter’s level, it will never let you down.