Some New Thing, Acts 17:21

The Athenians and strangers which were in Athens were known for spending their time hearing and telling “some new thing”. One of the things that makes something news is that it’s new.  People want to talk about what’s new.  They even greet you with this expression, “What’s new”?

Here are some thoughts about “some new thing”, particularly as it concerns a popular notion, a criticism against another person, or an improved “method” of ministry, for example.

Don’t go looking for some new thing.  People have always been curious about and interested in news.  But new news tugs on you like a magnet and increases your appetite for more.  It draws you away from the Bible and diminishes your appetite for the word of God.  We need the old paths, Jer 6:16.  You should have learned by now that just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s better.  This old Bible is by far the best.  And when you spend time with it rather than with the new stuff, you hunger more for God’s words.  And you have a whole lot better handle on the new stuff than the people who are always looking for something new.

When you hear some new thing, don’t believe it unless you know it’s true.  You want to be absolutely 100% certain that it’s true before you believe it.  And if looking it up and verifying it with credible sources is too much effort, then just let it go.  It’s not true just because many are saying it or believing it.  Consider the crucifixion.  It’s not true just because you’ve seen a picture of it.  Could be Artificial Intelligence or photoshop.  It’s not true just because you want to believe it.  Consider people like the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Catholics.

If you hear something about a person, go ask them if it’s true.  And if you are too embarrassed or afraid to ask, then let it go.  It could very well be that what you heard is not true; instead, it’s a lie.  And if it’s not true, be very cautious with anything you ever hear from the person who told you.  They don’t know what they’re talking about.

Even if you verify some new thing is true, don’t repeat it.  You don’t have to be the first one on the block with a sensational story.  You don’t want the reputation of being the church gossip.  Most of the stuff you could repeat doesn’t pertain to you anyway.  And it’s no one else’s business either.  You might want to make it other people’s business.  But be very careful with this.  There may be more than you know that pertains to the story you’re telling.

You might want to know the answer to this question.  What’s the motive of the person who told you?  Perhaps they need you to tell it because you are more credible than they are.  Perhaps they need you to support their cause in telling you because they are up to something.

Conclusion: Be careful with what you hear and what you tell.  You are much better off to hear from God in the Bible and tell what he said than you are to get caught up in some new thing.