This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. (1 John 4:2)

YESTERDAY YOUR LITTLE DRAMA QUEEN was dying to be a veterinarian, but today her passion has turned to wildlife photography. Your firstborn son was sure he was going to pursue architecture, but now music is his mission. Your little tike is no longer crazy for soccer but is nuts for baseball, and your preteen wants to switch from band to drama. Do these scenarios sound familiar? Kids can be real flip-floppers. But, guess what? So can we.

It can be complicated to know what side to take sometimes. Our various channels of communication smack us with so much information, it’s tough to know what is right and wrong. Supposed facts are challenged, and expert testimonies get opposed. The truth is a tough thing to find; the world is a tricky place to navigate.

The apostle John warned believers to be careful in discerning evil from righteousness. We can recognize godly people by their commitment to their brethren, their lifestyles, and the fruit of their works. Most importantly, John said, we can identify them by what they say about Jesus, as described in 1 John 4:2. John was definite in this. He allowed no room for flip-flopping or for wishy-washy thinking. Now, as then, if people we encounter behave in ways counter to biblical teaching, and, if they don’t see Christ just as John did, they are not with Him.

Be diligent in identifying the righteous from the evil; pray for salvation for the latter.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor, turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.