Have you ever heard a Christian speaker, and something about her message seemed “off,” but you weren’t sure what was wrong with what she said?
Has a friend or spiritual leader recommended a Christian book, devotional, or bible study, and you want to “check it out” to know if it is truly biblical and spiritually profitable?
How is one to know? How is one to discern between truth and error among the myriad of Christian resources and media that bombard women in the Church today?
There is no short-cut answer. We must be women of the Word. We must not only read, meditate upon, and memorize the Bible. We must study it. We must be like the Bereans of old who “received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). We must heed Paul’s plea with Timothy to “be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). Like a jeweler who is so very familiar with the “real thing” that “fakes” are easily identified, we also must become thoroughly acquainted with Scripture so that error is quickly detected—and denied.
I have found these two items helpful for learning to discern truth from error:
1. Questions to Help You Discern Truth from Error. This list of twelve questions written by Nancy Leigh DeMoss draws attention to the most important issues to consider when discerning Christian books and other resources. It’s a very helpful list to print and keep near your own stack of books or to share with a friend.
2. The New How to Study Your Bible or Lord, Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 Days. If you want to learn how to study the Bible for yourself without taking a seminary course, I highly recommend these two books by Kay Arthur. Her faithful and accessible Bible study methods will help you gain a thorough understanding of Scripture. As you prayerfully study Scripture, you will grow in your ability to personally discern truth from error.
If we are His children and are abiding in His Word, we can be confident that God is teaching and sanctifying us. Jesus prayed for us, “Sanctify them in truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). With His Word and by His Spirit, He is transforming our hearts and minds to reflect His own.
Have you ever experienced a major change of understanding about God or His Word? What passage(s) of Scripture did He use to teach or transform you? What was the error you left behind, and what was the truth you found?