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Hearing Aids

Dear Friends,

This morning, I came to the conclusion that our dog has “selective hearing”. In other words, when he doesn't like what I'm saying, he acts like he doesn't hear me. For example, this morning he was laying comfortably in his bed, and when I called him to go outside, he adjusted his head more firmly into the padding of the bed, to ensure he couldn’t hear what I was saying. So, I tried an experiment. I walked into the kitchen, grabbed his bag of dog treats out of the pantry, and by the time I turned around he was sitting politely at my feet. In an instant, our dog went from being completely deaf to having supersonic hearing. By doing so, he proved he has “selective hearing”. When he likes what he hears, he responds happily. When he doesn’t, he acts as if he can’t hear anything at all.

After my frustration at his behavior settled down, I was struck by the fact that I can be exactly the same way with God. When He tells me to do something that I like, or think I’ll enjoy, I quickly respond with, “Absolutely, Lord! Here I am, ready to go!” But when He tells me to do something I’m not excited about, or something that’s hard to do - or He tells me to stop doing something I enjoy - my response is more like, “I’m sorry, what? You’re kinda breaking up. I can't really hear you.” And then I try and settle myself firmly in a comfortable spot.

It’s “selective hearing” - and I think if we’re honest, we will all admit we can struggle with it when it comes to listening to God. That's why, in John 15:14, Jesus says: “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you". And then in James 4:17 we read: “It is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” Both passages make it clear that God doesn’t want us to treat His instructions like a buffet - picking and choosing the things we like, while skipping over the things we don’t. In His Word, He clearly lays out how He wants us to live - so that’s how we need to live.

Now, if you're like me and you struggle with “selective hearing” when it comes to some of the things God says, I encourage you to consider this truth: if God tells us to do something - or to stop doing something - He's telling us that because He knows it's what's best for us. The reality of our lives is that God sees the beginning and the end - and everything in-between. He has a perspective on life that we will never have. So when He directs our steps it's because He can see the road ahead, and He knows what will best protect us, and what will best help us to grow and transform into the people He’s created us to be. So even if we don't understand why He tells us to do what He tells us to do, we need to listen - and respond with quick obedience.

So today, let's do this. Let's ask God to help us have "supersonic hearing" when it comes to what He’s speaking to us throughout the day. And then, as we hear what God is saying, let's ask Him to help us respond quickly and completely. Let's commit ourselves to being "hearers" and "doers" of the Word today so that we can live how God designed us to live - and so that we can honor Him in everything we do and say.




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