If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”Mark 4:23-24 NIV
“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.
This passage comes in the midst of Jesus teaching the crowds, mostly with parables. And it is a challenge to pay attention. To invest some time and effort into a consideration of what Jesus has said. Both to understand the teachings, and to make application of them to our own lives.
In my 67 years of life I cannot tell you how many sermons I have heard or how many Bible study lessons I have taught or listened to. For most of my life I have regularly read the Bible as well as other books. And that makes Jesus’ words here especially meaningful to me.
I have hears to hear, and eyes to read. And I use them both for that. But do I consider carefully what I hear and/or read? I am afraid that I do not follow that direction nearly enough. All too often I hear and/or read without thinking about what I read or heard. It goes in one ear and out the other. And, as a consequence, it does me very little good.
So Jesus’ words “Consider carefully what you hear” are a big challenge to me. I need to be careful about what I read, watch or listen to and the impact they have on my life. Garbage in, garbage out is a term used in computer processing. But it is just as applicable to humans. When I am inputting garbage into my mind, the result will be producing even more garbage.
His words also apply to the good things I read or hear. Take the time to consider them carefully. To be sure I am understanding what I am reading. To take the time to think about how it might apply to me, what it is calling me to do. And then following through with that.
I encourage you to read the Bible daily. And reading through it in a year is great. But even better is to consider carefully what it is saying to you, even if you are only reading a single verse, or small passage. Take time to allow the Holy Spirit to teach you from it. Even if you have already read it a hundred times, still take the time to think about what you are reading. That is the road to growth.