17:10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
To these two verses I want to add this quote from an article written in the Review and Herald by Mrs. White in July of 1892:
"We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed.
Could those who are self-sufficient see how the universe of God regards them; could they see themselves as God sees them; they would behold such weakness, such manifest want of wisdom, that they would cry to the Lord to be their righteousness..."
In Thessalonica there were men who would rather incite a mob and have innocent men thrown in prison than consider a new idea.
When Paul, Silas, and Timothy left Thessalonica and came to Berea they found another synagogue but a very different congregation. Rather than immediately resisting the message because it was new, different, and contrary to what they had been taught, they did something far better. They opened the scrolls of Moses and Isaiah and the prophets and compared what Paul was preaching to what was written there. They let the scrolls have the last word.
Think about it. If we stubbornly hold to our ideas and traditions how will we ever grow? What are the chances that what we were raised with as "truth" is actually true? Are we willing to consider that it isn't?
At the same time if we run after every new idea and listen to every eloquent or persuasive voice how will we ever keep from losing our minds completely? There has to be an objective way to filter ideas and separate truth from everything else.
For me that filter is the Word of God. No other book has accurately and repeatedly laid out the future beforehand. No other book has a solid code of ethics and conduct that history has proven is the best and happiest way to live. No other book contains a Story that offers real hope to a planet that desperately needs it.
Do I understand everything in God’s book? Absolutely not. Are all my views, opinions, and understandings accurate? For sure not. In light of the fact that all of us have much more to discover about the character of God and His message for us we have two choices. We can become entrenched in our current ideas, refuse to move, and fight anyone who dares disagree with us, or we can keep our ears open to the ideas of others while carefully comparing those ideas to what His Word says.
I don't know about you, but I want to be like the Bereans.