Richard Weirich

Christians and Selective Hearing Disorder

“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.”

Deuteronomy 18:15

Men are known for their unwillingness to read directions. Come to think of it…. we are also bad at stopping to get directions. (Some of the women reading this would also add “lousy listener” to our list of shortcomings.) We suffer from SHD. Selective Hearing Disorder. We hear when and what we want to hear.

I recall an occasion when I purchased a new mailbox. Walmart sold a nifty post that didn’t require mixing cement or digging. You simply screwed it into the ground. How hard could that be?

To the curb I marched, proudly carrying my new mailbox and wonder-post. Upon selecting the appropriate location, I thrust the metal pole into the ground and gave it a few twists and turns. Soon it would be ready to be topped off with a shiny new mailbox.

Neighbors gathered as I continued the process. I turned — and twisted — and turned some more. But the post would not screw into the ground. Determining that more pressure was needed, I circled the pole pushing with all my strength.

My family appeared on the front porch joining the crowd of onlookers. Then I heard laughter. How dare they? I couldn’t help I had bought a defective post.

Confidence gave way to anger. Walking around the pole turned to running.

My wife called out to me. “Do you want the instructions?”

“No. It’s just a stupid post!”

“You really should read the instructions,” she said firmly. “You’re going in the wrong direction.”

“Wrong direction?”

Blood rushed to my cheeks. If only the hole were big enough to jump into and hide. As usual, she was right. In less than a minute the post was set firmly in the ground. If only I had taken time to read and follow the simple and clear directions.

In today’s focus text, we are reminded of the importance of following God’s directions. “You must listen to Him.” The divine instruction manual is the Bible, the greatest book ever written.

You recall how your parents demanded you pay attention. “Listen to me!” That directive involved more than listening. It also meant learn and obey.

God never speaks in small talk. His thoughts are never fluff or unimportant. And He always speaks the truth. It’s in our best interest to listen to His every word.

In Matthew 17:5, God spoke from a cloud concerning Jesus and said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” God had more to say through His Son which was — and is a matter of life and death.

The Lord has laid out a precise roadmap for living. You may think His directions are too hard to follow, or they come with too many restrictions. God does, in fact, expect a lot from us. But His instructions are designed for our well-being. Many of the difficulties and frustrations you encounter in life are avoidable if you will just “listen to Him.” Even in unavoidable circumstances he gives directions on how to endure, and how to overcome.

Regarding your walk with God, do you suffer from SHD (Selective Hearing Disorder)? Do you only hear when and what you want from God? Are your choices based on what feels right as opposed to what God says is right?

God is not a harsh dictator who imposes unfair demands on your life. He loves you and wants the best for you. If you desire the abundant life that God has planned for you, then you must follow the directions that go with it.

What is God saying to you today? Don’t let it go in one ear and out the other. Hear it. Process it. Do it.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Sit Down, Shut Up, and Listen to God

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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