Is It Parroting or Conviction?
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). The word “noble” is defined as “having or showing qualities of high moral character.”
The word “parrot” has as one definition and the one I am interested in, “One who imitates the words or actions of another, especially without understanding them,” while “conviction” is defined thusly, “the state of being convinced or a fixed or strong belief.”
There is nothing wrong with accepting the teaching of another. I was taught and convinced a long while ago that 2 x 2 = 4, thus I will believe that unless and until someone teaches me otherwise. But I am concerned with scripture and not arithmetic.
Down through the years I have been caused to study certain scriptures which I had been parroting for some time. In other words, I had, without much study and forethought of my own, accepted someone else's solution, perhaps because I believed that he had more knowledge than I or that I had great confidence in him. Then, perhaps because someone had questioned that belief and presented something different, I studied said scripture more thoroughly and reached a different conclusion than what my past one had been.
But the point I want to make is this: the new conclusion is now my conviction. I have reached it by study and meditation. It is mine! Certainly someone else stirred up my lazy, parrot mind, but I did not accept the new position because of the conviction of another. I searched the scriptures and found that his solution was more in harmony with what the scripture was saying. No need to give blame or credit to another. I have arrived at my own conclusion that this is right. I will present it now as my conviction and urge you to do the same.
May God help us all in our search for truth to “give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth” (ASV, 2 Timothy 2:15).