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SELECTIVE HEARING
by Charles Lee
09/16/04
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Nehemiah 8:3b The ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

“Dear? Would you…?” “You kids need to ….” Blah, blah, blah. Just a humming noise is all you hear. A blabber of words with no meaning. One man described it as wind through his ears going in one and out the other. Sometimes our listening improves on the number 2 in a count of three. Maybe sound quality gets better when we hear our full name. “CHARLES MAURICE LEE!” Some never learn until they have to cook their own supper. AAIIGGHH! Of course, that would be something that would happen in an extreme circumstance. Sometimes this phenomenon is conditioned, such as repeat instances of the counting example. Children know they have until mom or dad begins counting until they have to really listen.

I was eating supper at a church member’s house one time, lounging in the easy chair, sipping coffee, when I heard the sound I was waiting for. “Dinner’s ready!” As I was getting up, the husband told me I didn’t need to get up yet. He said to wait until we were summoned the third time before we got to the table. Okay. I tapped my fingers nervously. He sipped his coffee calmly. “Dinner!” My feet began to tap. He continued reading the paper. “Time to eat!” We got up and sure enough things were just prepared. I needed an antacid. He needed second helpings. It all had to do with conditioning.
Let’s consider the other side of the situation.

“And I heard that ol’ gobbler justa gettin it. Ever time I’d call, he’d cut me off.” Instantly my ears pricked up. I begin to zero in on the sound like a bat after a mosquito. Around one aisle, down the next. There they were. Clad in camouflage, looking at the hen decoys. “How you fellows doing? I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation. I was just in the grocery section looking for some seasoning when I heard you talking about a gobbler.” They looked incredulously at me. “But that’s on the other side of the store.” Yeah, so.

Or consider this conversation. Picture you and the guys in one huddle, while the wives are in another. Here is what is heard from your conversation to theirs. “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, MY WIFE!!!!!, blah, blah, blah.” You get home. “What were you saying to the fellows about me?” she demands. Uh, uh, uh.

These are examples of what I like to term as “selective hearing”. Hearing what you want. It’s a common illness in most people. Interestingly enough, nothing much is mentioned about this sickness in your major medical magazines. Okay. I haven’t actually read any medical magazines, but I imagine little is said. Most all of us have this problem. I have it in my spiritual life. Sometimes there is a little voice, not unlike the little angels on the shoulder, saying “no, don’t do that.”. But of course, I do. This only occurs though, when it’s something I really want to do. Then comes the reaping. “Why didn’t someone warn me this would happen?” I can imagine God’s frustration. “I did warn you! You just didn’t listen.” In the scripture reference, the people listen attentively to the law. Let’s you and I listen attentively to God’s Word. Let’s not be selective hearers. Of course, it’s alright when you hear “Honey, would you…?”


If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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