“Such people … are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.” – Roman 16:18 NLT
The Bible has many good things to say about being simple; however, some make the Gospel complicated so that not everyone can grasp its principles.
Jesus frustrated critics by appealing directly to ordinary people, teaching with parables anyone could understand. While we should seek to go deeper, the basic tenets are so simple a child could understand them. Jesus said we must become like children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:2-3).
Paul, too, sought to communicate in ways that were plain and clear. He warned against anything that would lead them astray from their “pure and undivided devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). He didn’t want to water down the power of “the simple message of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:17 TLB).
While child-like faith is important, we are warned against being “simple-minded” (TLB) – naïve and easily manipulated. This can be a tricky balance. We are to have faith like a child and trust God without doubts and believe His Word without question. At the same time, we are to be on guard against being simple-minded and gullible.
How do we find the balance? First, make sure to fill your mind with God’s Word. Make it your standard point of reference. Spend time in fellowship with the Father. Be alert for people with ideas that sound convincing, but which ultimately are deceptive. Stay on guard. Listen to the Spirit’s leading.
Father, I believe Your Word is true. Give me discernment to recognize deception. In Jesus’ name, amen.