While preparing dinner for her new husband, the young wife carefully removed the ham from the package, promptly cut the end off of it, and threw it into the trash. Thinking that to be a little odd, the groom bravely asked, “Why did you do that, honey?” “It’s how Mom has always done it,” she replied. “Well, why did your mother do it?” asked the husband.” “I’m not sure,” said his new wife, “I’ll ask.” The young bride quickly called her mother and asked her why she always cut the end off of the ham before cooking it. “Well, it’s the way your Grandmother always did it, you will have to ask her,” she replied. Feeling confident that she would finally receive a good answer, the young wife called her Grandmother and asked the same question. “Oh honey,” her Grandmother said, “I only cut the end off of the ham because it was too big to fit into the pan!”
In regard to our spiritual convictions, many of us are guilty of cutting off the end of the ham. We may know what we believe but often we do not know why we believe it. Our faith is founded upon teaching that has given to us by preachers, family members, and other good people who we love and appreciate. This is a very dangerous practice because, no matter how much we may respect them, they could be wrong, and if we adopt their convictions without any investigation of our own, we will be wrong too.
Jesus said, “Search the scriptures…” (John 5:39), and Paul encouraged, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith, test yourselves…” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Our souls are too valuable to accept religious teaching at face value simply because we deem the source to be reliable. God is the only reliable source when it comes to religion, and our faith must be founded upon the objective standard of His word. Instead of accepting what someone says about God’s word, we must investigate it ourselves to see what it actually says!
Are you cutting off the end of the ham?