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Selective Hearing

Selective Hearing

There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil.  1 Kings 22:8

I do not take criticism well. When I get patient comments back at the clinic, I ignore the nine positives and focus on the negative one. I take it personally and surmise that the writer must have some issues. I can’t be at fault, right?

Most of us respond poorly to criticism. In this, we are similar to the Israelite king, Ahab, who conspired with the King of Judah, to attack the Syrians. The two kings desired God’s blessing, so they asked their yes-men prophets, who confirmed what they wanted to hear.

Still, they sought out Micaiah, a prophet known for speaking only the truth. Micaiah told the two kings that they would be defeated, and that Ahab would die in battle. For his honesty, Micaiah was thrown in jail as the two kings headed off to war. Ahab did not return alive.

Like the two kings, we often pretend to seek the truth, when really, we only desire affirmation. We avoid criticism as it reveals our flaws. Because faults are painful to acknowledge and change is even worse, we practice selective hearing, listening only to the voice that massages our egos.

The problem, is that as long as we are in this flesh, we will have flaws that must be addressed. When we refuse to see our faults and our need for change, we refuse to allow Christ to do anything for us. Our faith then, is simply a belief in God. Sure, I believe. God saved me once. I’m good now.

My need for transformation is not just about my addiction of a few years ago though. Being a disciple is a continual process of denying the faults I am struggling with now so that I may follow Christ today. When I practice selective hearing, I paralyze myself spiritually.

Only when I admit my need, am I able to do whatever it takes to turn from myself to follow Christ today.

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