Situations we go through changes our ability to hear, or they might simply change who we chose to listen to. Through the years my perspective has made a huge difference on how I hear, when I listen and who I listen to.
Let me give you an example. You might have had this same experience. When I was very young my dad was the smartest man alive, yet as I became a teenager I listened less to my dad because it was my thought that I knew more than he did. Now that I am a few years past being a teen (a few decades, maybe) my dad is once again one of the smartest men in the world.
Who are you listening to? Who helps you make decisions or sways the decisions that you are making?
Matthew 5:17-19 NLT
Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Within those three verses are nuggets of truth not easy to understand. For many Christians or church goers the law is more important than the grace of God. From another perspective it is more important to look right than to be right. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Obeying God is not about keeping the law. Obeying God is about doing all in my powerful to get closer to God. The voices we listen shape the way we hear and follow God.
Maybe you are listening to the wrong people or to the wrong thinking. Change who you are listening to. One of the ways I stay fresh and listen well is to go to the people who seem to be on the edge. Here are some quotes from a man who is leading people around our world. He is not a preacher and not an elected politician. He is a singer, and his name is Bono, lead singer of the group U2.
Religion can be the enemy of God. It's often what happens when God, like Elvis, has left the building.
To touch is to heal, to hurt is to steal. If you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel.
Even though I'm a believer, I still find it really hard to be around other believers. They make me nervous, they make me twitch. I sorta watch my back.
Perspective is the cure for depression.
At a certain point, I just felt, you know, God is not looking for alms, God is looking for action.
The true life of a believer is one of a longer, more hazardous or uphill pilgrimage, and where you uncover slowly the sort of illumination for your next step.
Stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Find out what God's doing. It's already blessed.
Sometimes religion gets in the way of God.
God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.
No, Bono is not a teacher of theology or of philosophy. Yet he reads the culture well and hears the voice of God. The perspective that I find in what this man shares makes me want to make a difference in the world around me.
Who ya listening to?