Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Listening for Truth

 This morning my husband and I were talking about the State of the Union address last night, wondering what the commentary would be the morning after. What we heard will be interpreted a wide variety of ways, to say the least. As we said good-bye for the day, he said, "We live in a world of half-truths."
I closed the door and thought, "But I don't want to live in a world of half-truths." If I live in a world of half-truths, then I also live in a world of half-lies. Which half is true?  Which half is not? I don't need to be any more confused than I already am and possibly that is why I settle for just half.
Why would I settle for just a half-truth? Because in a fast-paced world  of information, we are daily bombarded with hearing and hearing a half-truth is easier than taking the time to listen to whole truth. And there are other reasons like: because I don't have to think so much; because I can "settle" and have some kind of false peace about the way things are and I can continue in my life without coming to terms with myself. Now there's a challenge for most of us.
Maybe then,  we should ask ourselves, "Where do I listen for truth and who do I listen to?"
When I go into a friend's business I can always tell when he has been listening to talk radio. I hear his opinions without asking and remind him about other sources for information. We laugh and joke, but ideas are planted that take root and grow - which half is truth? Which half is not?
I like the way another friend speaks often of working on her listening skills. And I discovered that while I am a good listener, attentive and quiet, what I hear often runs through a destructive type of self-filter that wants to make me insecure and doubtful. Of course, self. How we work at trying to be good enough, strong enough, powerful enough. And it's never enough. It's a half-truth. Deceived by the half-lies.
But I have discovered a great whole truth. When I go to scripture, there it is - the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Hearing truth in scripture is referenced almost 2000 times in practically every book of the Bible. Those are facts. These verses are just three examples of hearing and listening with a most reliable source. They won't draw much political commentary, but they might help us listen.
Matthew 13:9 "He who has heart to hear, let him hear!"
Luke 8:18 "Consider carefully how you listen."
Psalm 95:7 "Today, if you will hear His voice."

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