Friday, January 17, 2014

Listen to His Offer

No one can have faith without hearing the message about Christ.  (Romans 10:17 CEV)

Have you ever had someone try to talk to you and you didn't want to hear what they had to say?

When I was a child, we would do childish things.  One of the things we would to was "block out" our friends.  Whenever they would try to tell us something we didn't want to hear or boss us around, we simply say, "I'm not listening to you."  If the other person continued, we would cover our ears and start humming or singing, "I'm not listening.  I'm not listening!  I'm not listening!!!"  This would continue until the person talking would finally give up and stop talking.  Childish, right?  The only problem was, the situation had not changed.  The problem was still there.  We had simply stopped talking about it.

I'm a bit surprised at the number of adults who act the same way.  We don't walk around with our hands over our ears shouting, "I'm not listening," but the effect is still the same.  We stop talking through issues with our spouse, so our marriage crumbles.  We stop listening to our children, so our relationship dissolves.  We act as though not listening to the problems somehow makes them all go away.

We do the same thing with God.  "I don't have to go to church to believe in God."  "I don't need to read the Bible.  It's all just man's interpretation anyway."  "That's fine for you, but everybody doesn't believe the same thing and this is not an appropriate place for that kind of discussion."  We might as well be saying, "I"m not listening, I'm not listening, I'm not listening."

I can understand the desire to avoid the bad news.  I don't want to hear that some of my words or actions are an affront to God.  I don't want to be told that I'm a sinner.  I don't want to believe that the price I pay for my sin is death.  I don't want to talk about the fact that I've fallen in a big pothole, I'm stuck, and I have no way out.

Just remember, the situation doesn't change just because you won't listen.  Oh, by the way.  That's only half the story - the bad news part.  If you listen, you just might hear the good news as well.