THE LISTENING YOU
Some years ago I read many books on ‘Hearing God.’ One of the tips that caught my eye was this. If you have made it a practice to listen to people, you will not find it difficult to hear God. I thought this was interesting because I worked with a woman in ministry who claimed to hear God, yet seldom listened when people were sharing with her. Not surprisingly some of her ‘words’ were self-serving.
Jesus was not so absorbed in who were sinners and who were not. He was more interested in those who were humble and who were not. Humility is a door to evermore life. Some folks have a boorish attachment to their own ideas. Others far more amiable are quietly and confidently imprisoned in a cage of their personal assumptions. This is why the poor in spirit have access to the kingdom of God.
A ploy of self-righteousness is to accuse the messenger when sin is uncovered nesting under our waistcoat. Some go into a rage and cast themselves as the victim. Others quietly sulk and pose as victims when confronted with truth that would give them life if they were humble enough to listen.
The most obvious example of ‘transference’ in the new testament story was the charge that Jesus had a demon. There is a distressing human habit of describing life as death or new age and religion as life. But if we have never escaped from religion we have never lived. Reality is always Christ and reality is radical and liberating because it is true. Any form of untruth, be it spin or outright lying binds people in some degree of non-life.
LIFE TO THE FULL
We have an infilling of spirit and life that is ours in Christ our life. Sadly there are many capable people in the church and out of it that are not alive in their spirit.
“Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector teaches us to love the sinner and hate our own sin. In the Temple the Pharisee is fully aware of the tax collector as he vainly poses before God. The tax collector, on the other hand, is aware only of his own sin and his desperate need for God’s mercy. And the tax collector is the only one who received God’s mercy.” (1)
The tax collector was positioned to grow and not stagnate.
We can be asses with our additions to Christ. Not bold enough to live in the naked now, we look for identity, status and acceptance with God to the accretions we have garnered like a bower bird. We may live in our personal ideas and our own gospel with a quiet smugness that we purvey as ‘our grace’. We are insulated inside our mostly concealed self-importance and our obsession with our inherited ideas. We fail to see the pride that it is – a pride we may note that stops our ears and blinds our eyes to the simplicity of our inheritance of Christ our life. Then again we can believe that Christ is our life and be born again as son/daughter of God.
(1) Zahnd, Brian. The Unvarnished Jesus: A Lenten Journey (pp. 75-76). Kindle Edition.