What Are You Listening To?
Every day we are assaulted by voices—colleagues, radio, television, newspapers, educators, famous people, even friends. What we listen to and whom we listen to can shape our beliefs, our actions, even our destiny. Sobering thought.
A friend of mine believes the earth is flat. He spends hours researching it. He even scans his Bible for proofs. But he researches only on websites that attempt to prove the earth is flat. He listens only to arguments that bolster his opinion. So how will he know if the voices he trusts are twisting facts to prove their point?
Educators rightly want young people to feel empowered to use their lives well. So many of our children do feel pressed in, thwarted, unable to reach their dreams. Their teachers tell them they can become anything they want to be. Nothing is impossible to them, they say, nothing forbidden, not even the presidency of the United States. But that’s only partly true, because children come into the world with certain gifts and talents, certain mental capacities. Our children and their abilities are all valuable and desperately needed in this broken world. Why not encourage them to find the life work that God, in His mercy and love, created them to do?
Why have university degrees in Gaming suddenly become so popular? Is it perhaps because in a video game, you can express the frustrations you feel in real life? Might it be playing a video game is satisfying because you can zap every threatening image with a single click and get a digital pat on the back for it? But looking back years later, might not a person feel his life wasted on stupid small video blips?
We need heroes in our lives, people we can admire, look up to, emulate. So a charismatic rapper who sometimes expresses rebellion against authority in his raps might reinforce a young person’s frustrations against authority. Might this influence some of his fans at a concert to climb over crowd-control barriers, with tragic consequence?
Consciously choosing what you give your attention to will affect how you act. Wise King Solomon said, in Proverbs 4:23 (nlt):
Above all else, guard your heart,
for it affects everything you do.
How can we know that what we’re hearing is truth? Fortunately, God has given us His trustworthy Word. If we listen to it, and judge what we hear by Scripture, we can be discern truth and error, and make good life choices. God says, in Proverbs 1:32,33 (nkjv)
For the turning away of the simple will slay them. . .
But whoever listens to Me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.
A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford