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tion and observing how things work. “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15ESV). Love the truth. Those who will not endure sound doctrine and turn from the truth have little chance for discerning truth (2 Timothy 4:1–5). According to 2 Thessalonians 2:9–12, God sends a strong delusion to those who love unrighteousness to confuse their discernment. Defend truth intelligently. God uses many arguments throughout Scripture to reason with us, and we also must learn to defend the truth logically. When addressing a question about the second coming of Christ, Paul encouraged his readers to follow their reason even if it contradicted a message appearing to come from the Apostle Paul (study 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12). “Infant thinkers” like to defend ideas that feel right, but when they are challenged to defend the truth of their position, they often withdraw or attack their opponent. If we want the truth, we should welcome the light of honesty and reason into our discussions and reject the use of double standards, where we judge other people with a standard we don’t use on ourselves (see 2 Timothy 2:14–19, Titus 2:6–8). Never stop learning. There is no particular church or teacher with a monopoly on truth, and as humans we all have flaws in our thinking. Until we know everything, we should always have a hunger to learn more of the knowledge of God. Make a practice of pursuing truth instead of defending your own way of thinking, even if it’s uncomfortable. Sometimes taking a stand for truth means humbly disagreeing with teachers and organizations you used to admire, but it’s the only way to grow in your search for God’s truth. Hold firmly to the Scriptures. One mark of a faithful church leader is his ability to give instruction in sound doctrine and to refute those who oppose the truth (study Titus 1). The key is in holding firm to the trustworthy word of God. “Infant thinkers” like to defend ideas that feel right, but when they are challenged to defend the truth of their position, they often withdraw or attack their opponent. 6 | Loaves & Fishes • Issue 32


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