When we turn two-years old, most of us experience what I like to call an attitude explosion. Gracie has taken her attitude to a new level lately. Her new practice is comical and typical for her age and stage. Whenever she perceives she’s in trouble or that someone desires to give her any type of correction or a little council and advise she puts her hands over her ears. Without saying a word she announces, “I’m not going to listen! I can’t hear you! You can’t make me!”
I’ve discovered that if I watch how children behaved toward me I can learn something about the way I sometimes behave toward the Lord. Their very innocent behavior is a mirror that allows me to see my own childish ways.
I did a little word search in the scriptures on the word “ears” (I didn’t get to the words “hear” “listen” “hearken”) and discovered that our propensity to behave like Gracie and cover our ears when it comes to receiving any type of correction or even a little council and advise from our Heavenly Father is a frequently addressed problem. I found repeated invitations from the Lord to His two-year-olds (spiritually speaking) to take our hands off our ears and listen.
Where my daughter might say, “Gracie, take you hands off your ears. Mommy is trying to tell you something!” the Lord says, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 7: 16) “give ear” (Ps. 49: 1) “incline your ears to the words of my mouth” (Ps. 78:1) “bow thine ear to my understanding” (Prov. 5:1) “Apply…thine ears to the words of knowledge” (Prov. 23:12) “hear my voice, give ear unto my speech” (Isa.32: 9)
As you can see, the counsel is worded several different ways, depending on which prophet was speaking in behalf of the Lord, but the message is clear. The Lord wants us to take our hands off of our ears and hear what He has to say.
The view of myself standing before God with my hands over my ears, in Gracie fashion, helps me understand the recovery step I am presently trying to take. Step 6 says, “Become entirely really to have God remove all your character weaknesses.” Part of becoming ready to have my weaknesses removed is discovering exactly what my weaknesses are. This requires me to take my hands off my ears in ALL things, in all circumstances (entirely ready) and willingly hear what the Lord has to say to me, about me. I t requires me to be a full time listener.
Before I put the scriptures away that talk about my ears I learned several more things:
The Lord will help me – “he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned” (2 Nephi 7: 4)
I’m in charge of my own ears – “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth” (2 Tim. 4: 4) “Wo unto the deaf who will not hear [who choose not to hear]” (2 Nephi 9:31)
I pay a high price when I cover my ears – “But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.” (Jeremiah 7: 24)
When I put my hands over my ears I am “trifling” with the word of God (see Mosiah 2:9) A trifle is a thing of little consequence, of little value or importance.
The more I listen, the more God speaks – “Unto you that hear shall more be given” (Mark 4:24)
Hearing is about having a relationship – “My sheep hear my voice and I know them” (John 10:27)
Hearing is about understanding – “He that heareth reproof getteth understanding” (Proverbs 15:32) “Hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may understand” (Mosiah 2:9)
Hearing is about healing – “For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Acts 28:27)
Today I will be tempted, at some point, to shut down my ability to hear the word of the Lord to me. At that moment I pray I may have the humility to take my “two-year-old-ish” hands off my ears. The last verse of scripture I found expresses in just six little words the willingness to listen that has to exist in order for me to make progress today. “Speak Lord for thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:9)
By Nannette W.
Posted Friday, August 14, 2009
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