A weekly devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb
Cheap knock-offs of expensive brands and clever con-artists plying their trade remind us that we live in a world where we need discernment. The apostle Paul was no skeptic, but a spiritual realist who understood the importance of godly discernment. This is why he counseled the church in Thessalonica to “Test everything. Hold on to what is good.”
Paul and Silas had visited Thessalonica, capital of Macedonia, on their second missionary trip. Their ministry was effective but short lived there, as they needed to flee the city by night because of opposition from the Jews. Soon after their forced departure, Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica issuing two clear imperatives. The first is to “test everything” and the second is to “hold fast to that which passes the test.” To test refers to undergoing an examination to determine the value or worth of something.
Believers are to test all things (daily choices, philosophies we are exposed to, and our circumstances). Then, after examination, we must hold fast or grab hold of that which true, based on the Word of God. When you stop and think about it, Paul’s world isn’t much different from ours. What was profitable for the Thessalonian believers is also profitable for us today.