"But the people of Beroea 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
John Henry Fabre, the French naturalist, conducted an interesting experiment with some processionary caterpillars, which are called by this name because they blindly follow each other, one behind another.
Fabre placed caterpillar food in the center of a flower pot and placed caterpillars end to end so they formed a complete circle around the edge of the pot. Round and around they went for seven days and nights until they dropped dead of starvation and exhaustion. With all the food they needed only a few inches away, they starved themselves to death.
Sad to say some people are like these caterpillars that blindly follow a leader never questioning what he says or teaches. This is especially noticeable in false cults but it can be equally true in any church or religious group, especially where legalism still exists. It can also be true in secular leadership including the political realm. It is imperative to know what the leaders we are following stand for and where they are leading us.
Imagine questioning the Apostle Paul, the most powerful leader in the early church. But the Christians in Beroea did and made sure that what he was teaching was in line with God's Word. And they were commended for it.
It is important that we, too, learn to study and know the Scriptures for ourselves and question everything we are taught to make sure it is what God's Word, the Bible, teaches. In other words, while we need to respect our leaders, we need to make God's Word our "final voice of authority" and not the word of man no matter how high his position is or how appealing his words.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be open to truth/s I have not yet seen or been aware of—and help me to make sure that all I am taught is in harmony with your Word. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Acts 17:11 (TLB)(NLT).