Listen carefully to what you hear! (Mar 4:24 CEV)
Many church people are like sponges. Sit them in a church service and they soak up whatever they hear, then leave with their conscience assuaged for the week. They attended, and now they can mark that off their list.
But there's a problem with simply sponging up everything spilt from the pulpit. Sometimes, people are wrong.
Now, before you throw food at me, look at the Word of God. Mark 4:24 plainly says, "Take heed what you hear!"
What we hear is what builds our faith. (Heb 1:1) It's what lives in our heart and comes out of our mouths. (Pr 23:7;Jas 3:11) Therefore, every word we hear holds an incredible value.
God's Word enables us to grow. We see this in Hebrews 5:12-14. Here the church is told to mature, to move from simply partaking of milk to eating solid spiritual food.
Notice the phrasing of verse 14 in the BBE.
But solid food is for men of full growth, even for those whose senses are trained by use to see what is good and what is evil. (Heb 5:14 BBE)
Trained by use. That means we've learned to determine if what we've heard is something we should hang onto or toss away.
No human being, regardless of their spiritual office, how many books or audio messages they've sold, how big their email list is, or if they have a multimillion dollar building to preach in is right one hundred percent of the time. And it's our job as followers of Christ to know the when they are and when they aren't.
We must compare every word we hear to the truth of the Scripture and stop simply sitting in the pew without thought to what is spoken.
"But what if I carry it too far?"
Jesus answered this question. He said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (Jn 10:27)
Just as you learn the likes and dislikes of your spouse, your children, or your best friend, through time spent in prayer, worship, and study, you will learn to recognize the Spirit's voice. (Jn 16:13)
So stop being a sponge. Sponges soak up whatever they come in contact with, and that's not always pleasant things. Instead, hear the words of the Spirit, consume the good grain, and spit out the chaff. You'll be a more mature, grown-up Christian.
Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.