Who Are You Listening To?

Who Are You Listening To?

by: Alexa Hess

Have you ever played or watched the game where a blindfolded person has to go through an obstacle course? Their partner stands at the finished line and calls out directions to them to try to get them through the course first. The one blindfolded has to listen to their partner's voice among the shouts of all the other players. I find that going through my daily life can feel like playing this game. When I go on social media or watch the news, I'm met with hundreds of voices all calling out to me. These voices try to pull me toward what they think is true, but with so many people shouting, it feels impossible to know who to truly listen to. One person yells, "This is true!" and another says, "No, this is true!" I feel like I'm in a blindfolded obstacle course, pulled to the right and left with no real direction.

It can be difficult to recognize the voice of truth amongst the cacophony of voices around us. In our world today, everyone has an opinion they want to share and a certain personal truth they believe they should speak. Who we listen to matters, but sometimes, we don't think about who we are listening to or how the words of others are influencing us. We can allow the voices of others to drown out the true voice that provides us wisdom and discernment. Instead of weighing what others say, we can become easily swayed by what seems to be good and truthful.

As believers, we must remember that we are not in a blindfolded obstacle course trying to figure out how to follow the voice of truth. Before His death, Jesus comforted His disciples by promising them the gift of the Spirit. He told them in John 16:13, "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth." If we are in Christ, we have the Spirit of truth inside us who guides us in God's truth. God has gifted us not only the Spirit but also His Word. God's Word is truth (John 17:17), and as we follow and obey Scripture, we walk in God's truth.

But are we listening to the voice of the Spirit? Are we reading and looking to God's truth? Are we thinking critically about the words and thoughts we hear and comparing them to what Scripture says is true or right? As believers, we must have a discerning heart in a divisive world. We must root ourselves in the truth of God's Word no matter what our culture shouts are true and right. This can be hard, especially because we might receive opposition and rejection for believing what the Bible says. But if we don't allow God's Word to form us, we will be formed by the words of others instead.

If we are following the right kind of people, those who seek to glorify the Lord and live out the gospel, we will be helped rather than hurt in our formation as believers. It is when we allow ourselves to be influenced by voices that do not align with the truth of God's Word that we become swayed in our faith and formation. A couple questions to consider when discerning the thoughts and words of others are: Is this person or thought guiding me in and to God's truth or away? Am I being formed to look like the world or Christ by this person or thought?

Operating with wisdom and discernment in this world will have its complications, but we are well equipped with the Spirit and God's Word. Though the voices of this world shout loud, the voice of truth is louder in the ears and hearts of those in Christ. So who are you listening to? Who are you allowing to shape your faith and form your beliefs? Let us not veer off the course of Christlikeness by listening to voices that pull us away from what is true, good, and right. Instead, let us continue to walk in truth by heeding the voice of truth.

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