Sometimes, I’m gullible. Okay, truth be told, I’m horribly gullible! It made life interesting during my 32-year teaching career, especially the thirteen years I spent teaching high school. My being gullible did not start with my teaching career, though. I grew up with two brothers who used this slight flaw of mine to their utmost delight and satisfaction . I always knew I’d fallen for one of their spoofs the moment the corners of their mouths began to twitch upward. Sometimes they weren’t quite so covert, however. Sometimes they raucously burst out laughing as soon as I spoke that telltale word: “Really?” So glad I could add that element of enjoyment to their childhood! I became so used to being caught in naivety, that, back when those mysterious “stare into this picture until you see another image” pictures came out, I refused to be taken in by them. I even saw several at the Indianapolis airport. Numerous people were standing around staring intently into them and finally making remarks such as, “That’s so cool” and “Oh, I see it now!” I was immensely curious, but no way would I even walk up to one of those pictures in public! I assumed those comments people were making were to mask their own gullibility. I now have my own book of “Magic Pictures” since I’ve finally realized that, behold, there ARE actually other pictures in them!
I realize I am not alone in my ability to be a bit too trusting. I suppose I just find life so fascinating that, rather than question the outrageous claims being made by these jokers, I enthusiastically assume life just got more interesting! Being gullible is typically an obvious weakness, and once folks discover you have that weakness, life becomes much more challenging. I have found the best defense to be learning to laugh right along with the pesky pranksters. Thankfully, my bent toward being gullible has never gotten me into serious trouble. My good-natured taunters have only enjoyed a good laugh at my simplistic trust in their outrageous statements.
I am finally learning to be quite a bit more cautious before reacting with that telltale word.
I am learning to be more wary because, unfortunately, being gullible can sometimes be a very dangerous trait. I believe the internet, in spite of its usefulness, can be partially to blame for how extremely gullible society in general has become. Some of you may have seen the “quote” by Mr. Abe Lincoln himself who warns us that we cannot believe everything we read on the internet. (Those of you who are easily taken in like I am might want to go back and read that last statement one more time.). Photo-shopping is another fairly recent technological advancement that makes it harder to believe what is actually right before our eyes. The news media has not proven a reliable source of truth either. The political campaigners with their desperate attempts to gain votes no matter the cost have made it difficult to believe anything they claim. Lies are being perpetrated at every level in our society. And people are believing them. We live in a very gullible and non-thinking generation. So often these days I see Facebook posts that begin with the words “If that’s true” or “If this is true.” I have learned to research the sources of posts I read thoroughly via many sources. People honestly don’t know what to believe any more. And life these days has gotten so confusing, evil, and complex that we often find ourselves willing to believe news we would have never even begun to imagine two or three generations ago because, you know what? It just might be true!
That the truth has become difficult to decipher is a sad reality. We cannot afford to be so gullible that we refuse to believe that such and such could actually be happening or that this and that could never happen.
Yet there remains one faithful source of truth. It has withstood thousands of years of persecution, proving over and over its absolute, inerrant standard. We see it still being fulfilled in detail today. My personal gratitude for the absolute and authoritative truth of the Word of God has never been stronger than it is today. What great peace I find in my daily Bible study that what I read within its sacred pages is perfectly true. I need never approach the Scriptures with the statement, “If this is true.” I KNOW it’s true. It has never failed and it never will. I have seen its truth at work in my own life. I can trust every word of it without doubt. It is the Word that saved my soul. It is my joy in tribulation. It is the comfort I share with the heartbroken. It is the unfailing Hope I can give to a very confused world. It is the Truth that must be broadcasted!
“Forever, O LORD, thy Word is settled in Heaven!” Psalm 119:89
“Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” John 17:17