I don’t always understand everything I read. I don’t know why. I know I’m not the smartest person who ever walked the earth. But I do have common sense. I also don’t remember everything I read or that I’m told. So I need to pay close attention when I’m hearing words that can make or break me. I need to know when I’m hearing constructive criticism or just plain negativity.
When I consider all the sermons I’ve heard in my lifetime, I should probably be a biblical scholar by now. When I remember that I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover more than once, I wish it all would have sunk in. When I hear Bible teachers and read authors teaching biblical truths, I want to place as much of the truth in my heart. But I’m human. There’s no way I can remember everything I’ve heard or learned. There’s no way I can be perfectly fluent in principles I don’t know.
But. I can choose what type of hearing I have when I hear truth spoken. I can choose to ignore it and go my own way. I can pretend to follow the truth, but then act the exact opposite when I think no one’s looking. I can claim to follow the truth, but then turn from it when I’m faced with what seems to be an insurmountable challenge. Or I can follow the truth I’ve been given and live a thriving, productive life. The choice is mine. Once the seed is planted in the soil of my heart, I must choose how to maintain it.
I think of the work that I do. I recall the training I received when I was new on the job. My boss gave me specific instructions on what to do and what not to do. And she told them that all mistakes were fixable. No need to panic. I know that in this job the buck doesn’t stop with me, but I help move the buck along. I need to heed the words of advice I’ve received. If I go rogue, then at some point I’ll find myself unemployed. I can’t close my ears to the truth of her instructions or I’ll be given the boot.
To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. Matthew 13:12
Some say truth is subjective. It changes with our moods or our feelings. But really. It doesn’t. The truth always stands strong. How can truth change just because my mood is cloudy today? Truth is solid. We can count on it to remain firm. We’re the ones who have moved the needle on truth. We move it to fit our circumstances. Our wishful thinking. We redefine truth so we can feel comfortable with our choices. And when we move truth to something it isn’t, we move our hearts further from God. We’ve then chosen to live a lie.
The longer we ignore or avoid the truth, the more it is distorted. And when truth becomes distorted, it’s hard to recognize at all. Or is it? Is the truth just staring us in the face, even though we’ve denied it? Do we recognize the truth and just glaze over because we deny it? Or. Do we really believe the lies that we’ve accepted as truth? When the truth pricks our conscience, we don’t want to hear it. Because then. We have to do something about it. Ignore it and go on our merry way. Or accept it and make a change. Truth demands action.
By continually ignoring truth, we harden our hearts to it. We no longer even seek it out. We accept whatever word is spoken without investigating the facts. It makes life more convenient and comfortable, as long as it pleases us. Because. As I said. Truth requires action. And the longer we tune out the word of truth, we forget what it is. Lord, help us.
But know this. There is still time to turn a hardened heart back to God. Today. There is still time. We can repent and bow our knee to God Almighty. Let’s not wait. Time is running short. Let’s accept the truth of our sin and run back to God who is waiting with open arms.
Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. Hebrews 3:12-14