Trust but Verify

Most Christians have heard of proverbs, since we have a book called Proverbs in our Old Testament. There are also proverbs that we hear in life, and as such you won’t find them in the Bible. defines the word proverbs as: “a short popular saying, usually of unknown and ancient origin, that expresses effectively some commonplace truth or useful thought.”

One such proverb popped into my mind today: “Trust but verify.” And since I could not remember where I had heard this proverb, I did a little research. It turns out that this particular phrase was one that President Ronald Reagan used when dealing with relations with Russia back in 1986. Ironically, this phrase came from the Russian proverb “Doveryai no proveryai.” When dealing with the Russians, President Reagan was using words that they understand. Back then the purpose of using this particular proverb told the Russians that as a sign of good faith the Americans would “trust” what they said, but at the same time, American would hold Russia to it’s word by “verifying” that indeed Russia would/had kept it’s word.

This saying of “trust but verify,” could easily be used in our faith life. I am reminded of what one of my favorite teaching Pastors, Brad Powell from NorthRidge Church in Michigan, used to say “Don’t take my word for it, check the Bible. Make sure that what I say lines up with what scripture says.”

We as Christians will hear many things that will disagree with God’s Word. Sometimes, it’s simply a mistake, or a miss-interpretation of scripture. Other times, it’s an outright deception. That’s why it’s very important for us to always check with the ultimate source of truth – God. In the Bible, God gives us wisdom, knowledge, and instructions on His ways. The still small voice of the Holy Spirit will provide guidance. Prayer time with God will also speak to our soul.

Not only by immersing yourself in your relationship with God, and in His Word, will you learn the truth, but you’ll grow exponentially.

Trust but verify, it’s a great proverb for us to remember.

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3, ESV)

Jesus said: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17, ESV)

3 thoughts on “Trust but Verify

  1. One of my professors in Bible College urged his listeners to verify what he said against the Scriptures; a lesson I now frequently pass along to those I have the privilege to preach to. An excellent post, thank you.


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