Our world is full of noise. It seems that everywhere we look, there are people proposing truth—what they view as right in their eyes. And there are even those propagating fake information under the pretense of truth. Paul the apostle addressed similar concerns in his second letter to Thessalonians.
Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6–18. Reflect on 2 Thessalonians 3:17:
“The greeting is by my hand, Paul’s, which is a sign of genuineness in every letter: this is how I write” (LEB).
It seems that someone had pretended to be Paul, sending a pseudonymous letter to the church at Thessalonica (see 2 Thessalonians 2:2). Throughout his letters to the Thessalonians, Paul addresses misconceptions and false information. He attempts to bring clarity to theology in the midst of the noise of falsehoods (e.g., 1 Thessalonians 2:13–16; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–4).
Paul ensures that the Thessalonians will recognize his words by offering some sort of sign of genuineness. First-century AD letters were often penned by an amanuensis (a type of scribe or secretary). At this point in the letter, Paul may have physically penned the words himself. The recognition of his personal and unprofessional penmanship near the end of the letter could have been the sign of authenticity he mentions (compare Colossians 4:18). He may have also written some other sign on the paper like a specific drawing or crest; or he could have included a stamp or seal.
Today we must be aware of signs of genuineness versus in-genuineness. We must be cautious and careful. Truth is recognizable. It resonates somewhere deep inside of us as authentic. But it’s also measureable and verifiable.
Truth resonates with God’s Word. It aligns with what’s said in the Bible. Truth also resonates in our hearts. It’s transformational.
Let’s silence the noise for a moment. Let’s look toward genuine truth and embrace it—taking it in, soaking it in, living it. Truth is genuinely lived. Let’s live it.
How can you silence the noise and separate truth from falsehoods? How can you spread transformational truth today? Drop me a comment, I would love to hear from you.
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