BY: Jason and Christy Payne
E-MAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
BIBLE TEXT: 1 Corinthians 8:1-2: “Now concerning things offered to idols: we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: This year my wife and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. It seems like the older we get and the longer we have been married, the more we realize how much we don’t know. Yet the older our children get, the more they know everything! We now have two teenagers in the house (please pray for us) and on a daily basis we hear their two favorite words: “I know.”
When my wife and I tell them to do something their first response is “I know, Mom” or “Uh, I know, Dad!” We can tell them to take out the trash, empty the dishwasher, or clean their room and the response will be “I know,” yet they will leave the house and it’s not done!! When our kids think they already “know” what we are going to say they stop listening, and in turn, miss out on what we are trying to tell them. Or they really do know what to do and they just don’t to do it. Do we do the same thing with God?? When we see a sermon outline do we immediately think, “Well, I know so much about that I could preach it?” When we read a scripture that we already know by heart do we give God the opportunity to show it to us in another light? When our life group leader says “Let’s pray about that,” do we think “Well, we prayed about it 1000 times already?” Do we do the same thing with our spouse? Do we listen but not hear because we think we already “know” what he or she is going to tell us?
James 1:22-23 states it like this: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in the mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” We can know the word of God backward, forward, and inside out, but if we do not allow it to change us from the inside out then its just head knowledge which only puffs up.
The definition of hear is to perceive with the ear a sound that was made. The definition of listen is the act of listening to something or gives one’s attention to sound. There is a big difference in the two words. We hear simply because we aren’t deaf, but when we listen we have to give our attention. We can know the scriptures and still miss the Savior! We have to be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit, gain understanding of what He is trying to tell us, and apply it to our daily lives. The original scripture states that “knowledge puffs up but love builds up” and the only way we can get there is to know that it is not about how much we know but Who we know!
Prayer: Lord, I pray you would give us ears to hear and a heart to receive your word. I pray that You would make us good listeners and that we would not just read your word but that we would hide it deep within our hearts. I pray that we would love how You love and that our desire be to build others up — not ourselves –and allow You to teach us daily. I pray you would keep us humbled at Your feet. In Jesus name, Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I have been married to my beautiful wife, Christy, for 19 years. We have 2 amazing children: Elijah and Kayla. I am the facilities manager at Life Assembly and just received my Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Counseling. I enjoy doing missionary work, playing basketball, boating, watching Alabama football, and eating hot donuts!