What Have You Been Listening To?
I have a problem. As a father and husband there are times when members of my family will be standing directly in front of me, attempting to share some story, however, my mind is in a different place. It is this unique ability to be present physically, but somewhere else mentally.
Bringing frustration into the home, I learned an important lesson- what you tune into determines what you will hear. There is a difference between hearing and truly listening. I could hear my family all day long yet never truly listen to they were saying. By doing this, I’ve brought tension into the relationships in my life, simply because I was in another world.
In his book, “Longing for God”, J.K. Jones says: “Most of us come to realize that we live life in the middle of the traffic. Our days appear to be lived out on the interstate. Our fuel tanks are on empty, but we’re too busy to pull in for what we know we really require.”
Life has a tendency to become so busy that we, in turn, tune out God and the people that matter most. In so doing, we are left empty. This emptiness creates a disappointing attitude, derailing our relationships.
Attitudes are affected by what we tune into. Negativity breeds negativity. Likewise, a bad attitude is generally a culmination of focus and desire. How we view the world and relationships are determined in the ways we filter our circumstances. Realizing how we filter ‘life happenings’ is paramount in adjusting our attitude and bettering our relationships.
Potential filtering systems include:
1. Yourself – At times, our desires dictate how we filter the world around us. “Right vs. wrong” is adjusted to “what I want”. However, the Bible says: “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
2. Satan – At times, we tune in Satan without even realizing it. The Bible says: “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
3. God – I would humbly suggest that this must be our primary filtering system. Unlike the other options, God’s standard has always remained the same. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The standard of hope and restoration that HE provides never changes.
What you tune into determines what you will hear. Who have you been listening to lately?