Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Are you listening?


"Are you listening?" seems to be a phrase I say over and over and over as a teacher. But lately I've been applying it to my own life.

Over and over again, Proverbs says, “The wise person heeds counsel. The wise person listens to counsel. The wise person listens to instruction.” So the challenge here is always to be a learner. Have a teachable spirit. Be willing to listen—to have humility when you listen.

'Listen' to some of these verses from Proverbs: “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil” (1:33).
Proverbs 7: “Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth” (verse 24).
Proverbs 8: “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. . . . Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates” (verses 32-34).
Proverbs 13:1: “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.”
Proverbs 19: “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days” (verse 20).
Proverbs 23: “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old” (verse 22).

Have a receptive heart, a teachable heart, and a humble spirit. Always be a learner. Look for wise people. Ask them to teach you. I’ve been so thankful for the people God has brought into my life, in every season of my life, to help me be more effective in what I do.
Sometimes that counsel has been hard to receive. Sometimes it’s been hard to follow, but I’ve said, “Lord give me a humble heart, a teachable spirit. Make me a learner. Help me to listen to counsel. Help me to listen to reproof, to listen to correction.” It will save your life, and you hear this in Proverbs over and over again: “Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray” (10:17, ESV).

I want to just take this opportunity to stress that you cannot be a lone ranger Christian and succeed at the Christian life. God has designed us to be a part of a body and we cannot be all God wants us to be if we are trying to do it alone. We have a covenant with Christ; He has a covenant with us. We're bound in an eternal covenantal relationship with Him and if we're part of Him that means we're also part of each other. You can't separate us from each other without doing damage to all the parts. We need those covenantal relationships.

Let's take responsibility for the oneness of that body. We're a part of each other, we need each other and it's in the context of that body that we can become all God intended us to be.

BTW I'm 14 years married today!

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