Selective hearing. . . .have you ever noticed this in your house? One of my favorite manifestations of this is the child who will ask, "Mom, can we do. . . ." or "Mom, can we try. . . ." Then when I answer, 20 seconds later, he will ask again!
What??? You mean you were asking me a question, but didn't even listen for the answer???
O.K., so maybe I do that sometimes with the Lord.
Maybe He has so much more to teach me, but I'm not paying attention.
The Bible sometimes calls this "not listening" by an even more convicting term: dull of hearing.
" of whom we have much to say [Jesus' priesthood], and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing" (Hebrews 5:11).
Ouch!!! God wanted to tell the recipients of this letter so much more about the priesthood of Jesus, but they didn't seem to listen; they were dull of hearing!
Have we become like those? Have we become dull of hearing?
The author goes on to reprimand them even more:
"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food" (Hebrews 5:12).
Uh, oh. This dullness of hearing has some sad consequences. Do we need someone to teach us again "the first principles of the oracles of God" or the basic truths of our faith?
How many times have I had to reteach math skills because my dear children were not listening the first time? I can hear myself saying, "We could have been past this by now, if you would just listen!"
Yet, in our faith. . . .our daily walk with the Lord. . . .overcoming struggles and temptations, I could say the same thing to myself: "I could have been past this by now, if I would just listen!"
In verse 12, we see one of these consequences spelled out for us:
"For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe."
Unskilled in the word of righteousness! That does not sound good! (Sadly, this seems to rightly describe not only the Hebrew recipients of this letter, but also the churches in our country, even our very own communities.)
When we do listen and avoid the dullness of hearing condition, we can move on. . . .(aka growing in our faith). . .and partake of the solid food instead of the milk:
"But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14).
Discernment. Now there's a novel idea. How I want to grow in discernment!
So, for the Believer, it begins with listening carefully to the Lord, learning those basic truths and moving on, growing in our faith! Results include becoming skilled in the word of righteousness and increasing in discernment!
So today, when you notice your child not listening, let it be a reminder of spiritual things and ask yourself, "What about me? Am I dull of hearing in my faith?"
In the Heart of our Home,