Someone was teasing Cole. Cole had several pieces of candy, and an adult was trying to convince Cole to give some of the candy to him. “You already have so many pieces, surely you can spare one or two,” the adult said to Cole. “Besides, it’s my candy anyway.”
Several others in the room were witnessing this exchange, laughing as the scene unfolded. Maybe that was what tipped Cole off. He looked to me for confirmation of what this adult was telling him. I smiled and shook my head saying, “No son, that’s your candy, not his.”
And that was enough for Cole. Until that moment, he was about to give his candy away (which I’m sure the adult would not have taken), but when I told him the candy was all his, there was no more doubt in his mind.
What made Cole believe me over this other adult? What caused him to take me at my word, instead of the other person? One reason: I’m his father. And because I’m his father, he was willing to believe what I was telling him over what this other adult was telling him.
This has a spiritual application. Do we believe what God tells us through his word over the other voices out there in the world?
The voice of hedonism says, “If it feels good, do it.” Yet the word of God says not all things are beneficial to us, and that our bodies are to be used for the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:12-13).
The voice of self says, “Look out for No. 1.” Yet the word of God tells us to consider others as more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).
The voice of relativism says, “There are no absolutes” (which is, itself, an absolute statement). Yet the word of God says there is a right and a wrong, and God expects us to do what is right.
The voice of pluralism says, “All roads lead to God.” Yet Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father, except through me” (John 14:6)
So do you trust the word of your heavenly father? Do you believe God when he tells you there is a standard that he has set for his children’s behavior? You should.
Cole believes me because I’m his father. He trusts me to give him proper guidance. Why should we believe God? Because he’s our heavenly father, and we can definitely trust him to give us proper guidance in life.
Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville. His column appears every other week in Sunday Life.