“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.” 1 John 5:9-10
It’s funny who we believe and listen to. Many times we’ll choose to believe a person merely for the simple fact that they’re more like us.
If we’re young we tend to believe young people. There’re a lot of things related to peer pressure that go into the reasons motivating this group to preferentially put there trust in each other and we won’t go into all that any more than to simply acknowledge it.
I’ve seen young adults do the same thing only this time I think it was more of an age bias being demonstrated than peer pressure. It was kind of funny, in a sad, foolish kind of way, now that I look back at the situation. These twenty something year old kids were more than ready to simply take the word of their fellow student but the professor, who it turns out is an expert on the subject being discussed, had to demonstrate the validity of his answers merely because he wasn’t part of that age group.
I could go on citing similar examples from every demographic because humanities tendency to more quickly trust people that appear to be most like themselves is everywhere but in no situation is this pattern more concerning than it is with our tendency to disbelieve God because we’re choosing to believe a person.
Experts in any field tend to be experts in only that field. When it comes to the rest of life they generally don’t know anymore about anything else than anyone else with a well rounded education. So the truth is that most of us aren’t substantially any better informed about what really matters in life than anyone else and yet, notwithstanding the fact that the voracity, relevance, and credibility of God’s word has been demonstrated countless times over the generations, we still give greater credence to what other people have to say than to what God is trying to tell us.
The point John’s making in our focus text today is well taken, “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater…”. Scripture assures us that God knows everything. What’s more the Bible also tells us that God loves us and unselfishly desires only what’s best for us. We can’t make any of these assurances about any of our friends and neighbors. Often they’re short on the knowledge part of that equation and sadly sometimes they’re short on the good will part as well.
If we’ve accepted a relationship with God he’s always with us and if we’ll listen we’ll find that he’s always ready to pass onto us the benefits of his knowledge to make the life learning processes as easy as possible. The question is are we going to keep listening to our fellow men, that don’t know much more, and possibly even less, than we do or are we going to listen to God?