James 1:22: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

When we are born, the first thing we do is cry. Hearing that first cry, the mother is happy that her baby is alive and healthy. Crying out comes natural to us. We all want to be heard. Listening on the other hand, not so much! Listening takes a concerted effort. The more we absorb, the more we learn. Part of growing up is learning to listen.

Prejudice impairs our hearing. With preconceived notions we hear things we want to hear. Have you ever encountered a person who asks the same question in ten different ways, just to get the answer he or she wants to hear? That’s not listening for an answer, that’s suggesting one.

God Himself is a great listener. He listens to our heart all day long. And when He speaks to us, the thoughts He shares is something we need to hear; however His Word will only inspire us and build us up if we act upon it. The apostle James points out in his letter that we deceive ourselves if we know what God wants from us but don’t do it.

Well-received, God’s Word changes our heart. It is fuel in our tanks and builds our life, our relationships.

God’s input, while invisible, visibly shapes us.

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