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The Bible requires us to “Test the Spirits.” Because mankind is a spiritual being, he can interact with spiritual beings (other humans, God and even foul spirits). We make suggestions to ourselves, God makes suggestion to us, and evil spirits also make suggestions to us (or those who want to “counsel” us). Therefore, we must “test the spirits” to see if they are “of God” (i.e. whether or not it is counsel sent from God, thoughts sent from or in alignment with God, or unseen spirits that are sent from God).
Is it glorifying to God? Or, is it sinful?
Is it in harmony with the New Testament (grace and selfless love; NT principles & expectations from God)?
Is it edifying (building others up) or, is it self-glorifying?
Is it hurried, rushed, and impatient?
Am I weak to its potential to overcome me? Am I weak to its being addictive or harmful, or will it have power over me?
Is it helpful, profitable, a good use of time, resource, money, etc.?
Does it deal with wrong, evil, or sin properly and with hope? (i.e. confession and restoration)
Is there truth, peace, contentment, faith, hope and love in them? (Of God)
Or, is there worry, hurry, doubt, self-loathing, wrong desire, despair, covetousness, envy, hate, or other “dark” tendencies? (Not of God)
Is this a nagging, bothersome thought that is grating and wearisome? (Not of God)
Or, is this a still, quiet, “you know this is true and good,” kind of thought that “patiently” recurs until acknowledged or acted upon? (of God)