Who do YOU listen to?

“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” – Proverbs 9:9

“…fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  – Proverbs 1:7

“A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.”  – Proverbs 13:1

— ! — ! — ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !– ! — !

I sure don’t want to be a fool.  I sure don’t want to descend into an area where I could honestly be described as a fool.

Because I’ve been there before and it’s not a great place to be.

There are way more people out there that claim the title “Christian” that actually aren’t. In fact, “fool” would probably be a much more fitting term for them.  I chatted with my cousin about this last week while I was at camp. In his experience as a pastor of a growing church, he has witnessed that most people that call themselves Christians are actually moralists and theists.

moralist

Noun
1. a person who has a strong sense of right and wrong
2. someone who criticizes other people for not doing what he or she thinks is morally correct
Ah, yes.  Those are all over our churches.  Then we have theists:
theist

Noun

Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.
Then we have this one:

christian
1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ
2. One who follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
3. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.
Notice that first one again.  Even in the dictionary, the first listing is one that only lists belief as the active, defining action of a Christ-follower
THEN comes…”follows the religion based on“…and hey some of us might even make it to that third definition…”LIVING according to the teaching of Jesus.”

I probably don’t need to waste the cyberspace telling you which one of those definitions I’m trying to shoot for. But I think part of this goes back to Proverbs.  Those verses above about receiving (and welcoming) instruction.  To me, this means:
  • Not thinking I can “find the answer within myself” or that my way is the best way.
  • I should probably read more and watch less TV (or listen to less radio)
  • I should probably be a better listener and be less concerned about what I am going to say next in a conversation
  • The iTunes store (which contains tons of good ministry podcasts) is my friend
  • Realizing that someone who has followed God for 50 years “just might” be able to impact some relevant wisdom to me, even if they were born over half a century before I was.

I’m sure there are more things I could list that would help define what it means to be open to instruction, but you probably get my drift. These are the kind of things that will help us push which definition of “Christian” we are towards the 2nd or 3rd one. Not being a “moralist” or a “theist,” (who could probably care less about any of this stuff).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s