Listening is beneficial. If it is the result of humility, listening is a huge resource. It enables us to mine the gold of wisdom from others and reject that which is foolish and unworthy.
Listening to one master equips us to discern darkness masquerading as light. Embracing truth with eagerness protects us from becoming a dormant entity in our own suppositions.
Last year I read a piece of wisdom someone had written. They wrote, ‘The most common addiction is the addiction to our own ideas.’ If we can jettison our illusion that we are alone are right, we can seek wisdom with all our heart. Then we may not always need to be correct. We can be growing and we can be whole. We can have an expanding identity in the self that is becoming a son – rather than hiding in our cave and rationalising all we see and hear to support our stagnant self and our atrophied soul.
This is why we have to die to live. Why there had to be a cross. Why being born again is not a once off. Why we cannot see the Kingdom of God or know ourselves as kings and priests unless we are born again. Why we must bring our assumptions and theologies to the cross to see the truth and be set free – to be the sons and daughters of God. “Isn’t that ironic? Jesus says, “The person who says ‘I know,’ is precisely the blind one”(John 9:41). (1)
In the new covenant it is Christ who is our life. Not rules, prescriptions, laws or supposedly life-giving observances and practises. There is nothing to be added to His infinite life; no intermediary by which this life becomes ours. The incarnation is God in you and more. It is your life interwoven with God and God’s trinity interwoven in your being.
Nevertheless we can ignore this if we choose, stick to our own limited views and flattering perspectives. Our lives may not be miserable but they will be crippled in soul and spirit - and we will possess dormancy instead of growth from glory to glory. As John Wimber observes. “Many believe they are walking out the Christian life, when in fact their lives are miserable because they are living in a way that’s inconsistent with the call of God and the revelation of Scripture.” Maybe not miserable but certainly stagnant. This is always probable when Christ plus is our life. Never when Christ alone is our life. (1) Rohr, Richard. Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (p. 84). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.