Know Your Source
By: Victoria Riollano
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths - Proverbs 3:5-6
As an online Psychology professor, I spend hours every week grading discussion posts from students around the world. As I scan through the opinions and thoughts on issues from genetics to memory loss, I find that very few list their source of information. Rather than sharing from a scholarly journal, the Bible, or the textbook, many students tend to expect that stating their opinion is enough for the perfect score. Week after week, I ask these students, “Where are the sources of your information?”
Without properly sharing why they’ve formulated their opinions; I’m left to believe they are relying on life experience to explain a psychological principle. However, just like with any science, one person’s opinion never trumps the research.
For years, I wondered if I was just being a petty, power-hungry teacher who enjoyed taking off points. Yet, the more I study my Bible and interact with others, I find that knowing where you have received your information can be more important than anything.
We see this dynamic very clearly in the story of Adam and Eve.
But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Genesis 3:9-12
After Adam and Eve sinned against the Lord and hid in shame, the Lord wanted to know where they got their information. As they ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes became open they were able to feel a guilt they’d never encountered. All this happened because they chose to listen to the wrong voice, the serpent. Not only did they listen to the voice that caused them to doubt God, they would allow this voice to introduce them to sin and shame. For the first time, they realized that where they received their information was critical and relying on their own knowledge was enough to change their entire lives.
Unfortunately, like my students, they failed to truly investigate the truth of the matter at hand. Although the serpent appeared to be wise, he was not a valid source for information. Truthfully, without a firm belief in God’s word as the primary source, Adam and Eve fell victim to faulty thinking and the enemy’s trap.
Today, I ask you, who is your source?
Are you relying on the Word of God to be a foundation for your thoughts and actions or do you just share from your own life experience? Does the Lord have the final say in your heart, or are you easily shaken by other’s opinions, media, and your own insecurities? Are we easily shifted by what the world around us or life experience has convinced us to be true? The answers to these questions will set the tone for your entire life.
As believers, being aware that He is our source allows us to be confident. We can trust that His word is true, even when we don’t quite understand. Now, more than ever, we must remain strong in our faith and the reliance on His voice or we may find ourselves deceived out of God’s best for our lives. The more we lean into His voice through prayer, worship, and studying of the Word, we will always be aware of what He is speaking.
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of six, military spouse, Psychology professor and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released her book, The Victory Walk: A 21 Day Devotional on Living A Victorious Life. Her ultimate desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning. You can learn more about her ministry at victoryspeaks.org.
Originally published Tuesday, 04 October 2022.