bits from bob....

Do You Hear What I Hear?

by Robert J. Young
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

I always admired this about Herbert--he could sleep through anything. When over- energetic, noisy men stayed up all night at the men's retreat, Herbert was over in the corner sawing logs. When people criticized and complained, Herbert seemed oblivious. Herbert merely turned off his hearing aid.

We hear what we are tuned to hear, what we want to hear. You've experience it too, haven't you?

  • We're driving down the road in Jan's van, "How long has the van been making that noise?" "What noise?" "That noise!" "I don't hear anything."
  • At your house, who hears the washing machine quit, the dryer buzz, the timer ding, the microwave beep, the phone ring, the local forecast begin?

    Our hearing depends upon our tuning mechanism. On the radio, we can only hear what we "tune in" to. Likewise in life. When you hear a sermon, read a book, listen to a song, talk to a friend, can you discern what you are hearing, reading, listening to, discussing?

    I fear that the spiritual tuning mechanisms are broken for many Christians. Can you "hear" the difference between biblical doctrine and false teaching? Can you discern humanism in the culture, Calvinism in the televangelist, danger in the subtleties of some of our songs? What do you hear when someone says, "That may be true for you, but not for me?" Have we been tuned to the word of God long enough and well enough to know when something sounds strange?

    Jesus said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Do you hear him? He is saying be careful how you hear, what you hear, that you hear. I think the modern church could do well to work harder on the last one--make certain that you hear, and that what you hear is the Word of God.

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    Last updated February 5, 2002.