And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: – Matthew 7:26

There is a danger of hearing and not doing the word of God. I think Adventists are particularly susceptible to this threat, often only saying “Amen.” We all know this stuff. We’ve heard it before and agree with it. Often sermons are just a love fest, giving us a pat on the back for being so smart and agreeing with what the Bible says. The question is, do we agree enough to act upon it? Do we take time to evaluate what is said against our lives, a see where we come short? Growing up in the church, I don’t recall such reflection ever being encouraged or even spoken of.

This is a necessary custom to start in our homes and our churches. And it needs to be done with great intent, and not just recommended. Not just a session where the floor is opened for any thoughts. But  a method needs to be presented that gets us going in the right direction. For myself, when someone instructs on the need of meditation and reflection, I’m usually left doing what I know, which isn’t all that great. Therein lies the problem. People think they are communicating simply by saying “you need to reflect,” never considering that their audience may not fully understand the intended meaning. A few will struggle with it, until they find their way on the right path. Others will think “I’ve tried it, and it didn’t work,” and leave it at that. And others will try, and it won’t work, and assume there is some fault in them or the message, not realizing the point wasn’t communicated.

We should all strive more to understand what is meant by instruction. But those who instruct should also realize that their audience probably doesn’t know what they mean (perhaps because the instructor doesn’t know them self). Especially in our culture that expects instant gratification, they should make clear the process and patience that must go behind a great many activities of worth, like reflection.


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April 2009
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