"But the people of Berea were more open minded than those in Thessalonica, and gladly listened to the message. They searched the Scriptures day by day to check up on Paul and Silas' statements to see if they were really so."1
Albert Einstein, who discovered the theory of relativity, asked, "What would a light wave look like to someone keeping pace with it?"
Bill Bowerman, inventor of Nike shoes, questioned, "What happens if I pour rubber into my waffle iron?"
Fred Smith, founder of Federal Express, reasoned, "Why can't there be reliable overnight mail service?"
Godfrey Hounsfield, inventor of the CAT scanner, asked, "Why can't we see in three dimensions what is inside a human body without cutting it open?"
And Masaru Ibuka, honorary chairman of the Sony Corporation who came up with the idea for the Sony Walkman, queried, "Why don't we remove the recording function and speaker and put headphones in the recorder?"
Asking the right questions is one of the fundamental keys for opening the mind to new ideas, some of which have made profound changes for mankind. However, whenever people come up with new ideas, they need courage to overcome the criticisms of negative people who seem to feel that their calling in life is to discourage creative thinkers and productive change.
For instance, shoe makers called Nike's idea for waffle shoes stupid. Godfrey Hounsfield's CAT scan idea was seen as "impractical." Masaru Ibuka was asked if he was crazy when he proposed the idea for the Sony walkman and Fred Smith wrote a paper at Yale suggesting the idea for Federal Express—and got a "C" grade!
We, too, like the Christians in Berea, need to question doctrines we are taught to make sure they are biblical and not just outmoded traditions of man that can "kill" the church, and be constantly open to and actively seeking better ways of doing things for improving the quality of life for ourselves and others. And, most of all, we need to be open to what God is doing, or wanting to do, in our own life, in our church, in our community, and in our nation—and get in on his plans.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me not to accept everything I hear, but to test it to see if it is true. And help me to be open to change where change is needed and where I need to change, and help me to be a change agent for you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Acts 17:11 (TLB)(NLT).