Words are just words, groups of letters strung together, creating a sound as I speak. My sound displaces and shifts atmospheres with the potential to cause confusion and disruption or peace and clarity. What I bring forth flows from deep within me, revealing the true depth of my character.
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things (Matthew 12:34-35 NKJV)
Jesus spoke words infused with eternal glory, words of spirit and life. (John 6:63) Christ is in me; therefore my words also carry the sound of eternity into the natural realm. I am to be responsive to Holy Spirit to carry words of wisdom and to bring them out at the right time. I am to be response-able to speak words of spirit and life.
Listening as words are spoken to me, I weigh and discern their source. Who is speaking them to me? What’s their meaning and impact upon my life? I evaluate and look carefully (in the Spirit) at the person speaking them to me, discerning whether they are constructive or destructive to my well-being. Without discerning the source of the sound, I may be quick to label them as judgmental when they are essentially corrective for my good. Or, I can feel so good about them but they may be shallow, only ministering to my ego to feel good. I must learn to know the difference.
Chew the meat – spit out the bones.
The Internet can make me gun shy, afraid of speaking truth. Who wants to be blasted or raked over the coals, left for dead, bleeding and hurt because of words seeking to kill and destroy my dream or vision. I can internalize useless words spoken from evil hearts seeking to paralyze me on every front. This can leave me dazed for a bit, unable to receive anything, becoming defensive and angry or even fearfully withdrawing, losing my voice.
Chew the meat – spit out the bones and keep moving, getting stronger each day.
In my own life, I know that words sourced in love, despite being confrontational and challenging are essential for my growth. I must discern the difference. Not everyone has the right to speak into my life. And, I don’t let them but I am smart enough to know the difference between that which helps me grow and that which seeks to try to destroy me.
Chew the meat – spit out the bones.
What I perceive as negative due to inner pain may be constructive criticism for my own growth. What I perceive as positive may enable me in my own dysfunction by someone just wanting to make me feel good. Discern the difference.
Jesus consistently said in Scripture: “He who has an ear to hear…………listen.”
Our ears have the ability to hear sound. Sound is transmitted to the brain, which interprets the signal. It’s easy to just hear sounds. I hear but do I understand? I can’t let everything said affect me. Taking it all in leaves me off-balance. I am tossed here, there and everywhere.
With the abundance of voices, sounds, and noise increasing all around me, I need to unplug for my own well-being. It is not optional, but essential to my life.
When we returned to the States in 2013 after living in Finland for many years, the first thing I noticed was the increased noise level in the United States. I may go into greater depth in another blog but for now I just want to say that the noise level I discerned was so high in many places. I was so sensitive after the quiet of Finland. It actually disturbed me. Background music, people talking so loud, 5-10 TV’s playing on the walls……………excessive noise with no ability to even communicate in some places without shouting. It appears to me many are talking, but not listening.
The volume is being turned up everywhere I turn. Excessive talking, words and more words, information overload, opinions, commentaries, constant news reports…….
Yet in the midst of it all, I still hear Jesus saying to me: “He who has an ear hear what the Spirit is saying…listen.”
I read that the increase of background noise has the same effect on our hearing as fog does to our vision. You can’t see in fog and you can’t hear with excessive noise bombarding your life on every turn.
In excess noise, I see people becoming defensive, offended, fearful, anxious, worrisome, angry and more.
Hearing is linked to understanding. As a Christian, I am in the world but not of the world. Holy Spirit is given to me to help me discern as I listen. What is the sound behind the words, behind the noise? What is really being said? Is it truth or a lie? Is it deception or an illusion? Holy Spirit gives me understanding and perception in all things. That is why even though there is darkness and chaos in the world, I am in peace.
Greater noise – less understanding, more confusion. To me, in my own life, it is quite simple.
And He said, “ To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand (Luke 8:10 NKJV)
Mysteries of the kingdom, eternity invading earth, are revealed to those in Christ who have an ear to hear, not what they want to hear or perceive through earthly wisdom but in the Spirit. As the cry of deception, illusion and darkness get louder, I walk in the light as He is in the light and I see and I hear in the light of truth.
Holy Spirit develops my spiritual senses as I pursue a life of passion, intimacy, worship, and prayer in Christ.
This is a life and growth process for me. I sometimes take 2 steps forward and 3 steps back but I am always n a forward momentum, being conformed to Jesus Christ, not the ways of the world. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I let something in that hurts or disturbs me and it throws me out of sync for a time.
Words come at me. I discern the source. Is there truth in the words? I reflect, redirect, and learn. Sometimes I ignore, rebuke, and let them go. One step at a time!
Again there is so much to say about this but for now I pray you get the picture and it starts you on your own journey in Christ.
Images via Flickr – Just click on image to see their source.