As someone who is guilty, at times, of not being completely focused on what others are saying, I can relate to the frustration of a flight attendant caused by people like me. Annoyed by passenger inattentiveness during her what-to-do-in-an-emergency talk, she changed the wording. This is what she actually said: “When the mask drops down in front of you, place it over your navel and continue to breathe normally.” Not a single passenger noticed.

Still, that’s not as bad as this story from the days of FDR. President: “Franklin D. Roosevelt got tired of smiling that big smile and saying the usual things at all those White House receptions. So, one evening he decided to find out whether anybody was paying attention to what he was saying. As each person came up to him with extended hand, he flashed that big smile and said; ‘I murdered my grandmother this morning.’ People would automatically respond with comments such as ‘How lovely!’ or ‘Just continue with your great work!’ Nobody listened to what he was saying, except one foreign diplomat. When the president said, ‘I murdered my grandmother this morning,’ the diplomat responded softly, ‘I’m sure she had it coming to her.’”

One might think that everyone would be listening closely to what the President of the United States would be saying. He’s mighty important! But there’s certainly no comparison to the importance that we should be placing on the very words of God Almighty. In speaking of the Lord’s message of salvation, the writer of Hebrews 2:1 tells us, “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Without question, this command ultimately applies to all of God’s Word.

But there are many in danger of not listening closely to it, especially over time. Even scriptural truth we have held to in the past may be up for debate with some as they allow their opinions to be influenced by the world around them. Or with others, they may “drift away” in their relationship with the Lord because they choose to ignore the principles they once followed as it’s not convenient with the life they’re wanting to live or they somehow think, “That doesn’t apply to me.” For yet others, they’re lack of attentiveness to God’s Word corresponds directly to a lack of time spent with God’s people, the Church.

Regardless of what may have caused this communication breakdown, we need to truly open our ears, set aside what we prematurely think scripture is saying and then really let God’s message soak into our minds and hearts. Paying close attention is a must. What’s at stake is even more important than FDR’s dead grandma.

In His Service,
Jim

Posted in Connections, Monthly Newsletter.