Monday, February 12, 2018

Good Idea or Old Wives' Tale?

By Andrea Merrell

When I was growing up—and living with my grandparents—they had a lot of funny notions that had been passed down for generations.

During a bad storm, my grandmother would unplug every cord in the house except for one lamp. We would sit quietly in the room with the lamp, staring at each other while we waited out the storm.

I couldn’t go to a movie theater on Sunday because it was a “sin,” and there was no make-up allowed, even in high school. My grandmother would not eat brown eggs, believed that once the sun went down you were not supposed to leave the house, and she would never say anything bad about the Devil because “it might make him mad.”

My grandfather believed in driving twenty miles under the speed limit, would never talk to anyone about the Lord because salvation was a “private matter,” and gave his tithe to the church in cash because the amount was no one’s business. 

As I got older, I had many wrong ideas to work through and a lot of prejudice to overcome. I had to decide whether to adopt the beliefs of my ancestors or find my own way. Everyone has their own way of doing things, whether it’s from tradition or personal choice. As they say, to each his own.

The most troubling part of my upbringing was the way God’s Word was handled. My family loved the Lord. They were good, upstanding people, but they had been misled by the habits and beliefs of others. There were many principles they adhered to and some they didn’t. Some they believed and some they didn’t.

I found out later in life that listening to the advice and opinions of others is fine, but it’s ultimately up to me to decide whether something is a good idea or an old wives’ tale. When it comes to God’s Word, I can’t just blindly accept someone’s perspective. I need to read it, meditate on it, pray about it, and know for myself.

How about you?

(Photo courtesy of Castillo Dominici/ohmega1982.)


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