Jesus tells us to test the spirit and for different reasons and this is an important lesson to keep with us at all times because this is what we are to do with any part of life whether it’s a person, an event, a situation, and so forth. We are all to test the spirit rather than simply take it at face value: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:6).
Scripture repeats this lesson different times including when Paul tells Christians to hold to what is good. We know that what is good is God’s word but the problem is, people are not aware of what is inside of scripture and this bit alarming to me because if you are unsure of what is in scripture then how can you know what is good and what to hold to? For me, this is one of the biggest reasons why we, as a country, have gone so far off track because we have lost track of what we truly believe and why: “Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).
We should not limit this lesson to just people of the cloth but anyone we come in contact with including politicians, people we are close with, and family. When a politician says they have the answer for a problem but they are unable to produce the solution and give out talking points or their actual plan is looked at and shown to be a lie then we know that such a person has a loose tongue and anything they say should be looked at with skepticism. There are people in my life who I have found out not to be total trustworthy which is why I no longer tell them much of my personal business. Once the spirit is tested and they fail the test, we cannot be afraid to move on: “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1 John 4:20).
The principle of the last scripture is that we cannot be afraid to see what is right in front of us. If someone is not good for our lives or if someone is of shady character, we must be careful with what we trust these people with. Unfortunately, too many people are afraid of moving forward without a person because they have come accustom to having them a part of their life and this is a common event and I have been guilty of this many times in my life. However, because of this fear, I have paid a great price many times over because I did not take hold to what was right in front of me but we must see what God is showing us as He does not reveal things to harm us but to help us because He loves us: “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6).