Ears that heed instruction
(Prov 23:12 NIV) Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.
(Jer 6:10 NIV) To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.
The Bible associates stubbornness with people who have ears but refuse to hear. Jesus frequently completes His teaching with the phrase “he who has ears, let him hear.” Yes it is possible to have ears but not wanting to hear, not wanting to heed instructions either from God or from others.
When we read the Bible, do we just read and choose what we want to believe in or do we heed all the instructions from the Word of God?
Do we heed the advice of others? Are we too proud?
(Prov 21:13 NIV) If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.
If you can read this lesson perhaps through the computer or internet, you are probably much better off than the majority of the world’s population that is struggling with poverty.
The world’s problems are so big that we become numb to them. We shut our ears off. We no longer have compassionate ears. We think that we can never make a difference. But we can. Every bit of action we take is making a difference. What are we doing in response to a world that is in poverty, a world that has not heard the gospel?
A story is told of a man who was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean.
As the man approached even closer, he noticed that the native was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach, and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water.
The man was puzzled. He approached the native and said. “Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing.”
“I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it’s low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don’t throw them back into the sea, they’ll die up here from lack of oxygen.”
“I understand,” the man replied, “but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don’t you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can’t you see that you can’t possibly make a difference?”
The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, “Made a difference to that one!”
As in life we have many opportunities to bend down and lend a hand, to lead someone to the Lord, to someone in need, friend, neighbor or a complete stranger, you to can make a difference!
Hear no evil
(Isa 33:15 NIV) He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil–
(Prov 18:8 NIV) The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.
(Prov 20:19 NIV) A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.
As a Christian we have to be selective in the type of conversations we participate in. We should not be involved in conversations when people talk about evil things or gossip.