Be Careful Before You Listen

I Thessalonians 5: 12 “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you.”

Over the years I have learned the hard way to be very careful as to whom you listen, receive advice or even criticism.

There are people who believed they have the right to criticize or give advice to those whomever they want.

Jesus tells us to be careful to what we are listening to.  

The language used in I Thessalonians 5: 12 is pretty strong.  Paul is speaking in authority to those in the church, to listen and obey what he is saying.  Before you submit yourself to hear the advice or criticism of someone make sure you know who they are.

To know someone is to know about their character.  How do you get to know about someone’s character?  You observe their behavior, their lifestyle, their commitment, especially to the church and to others, over a period of time.

If someone feels at though they can give me or the church advice they should have a proven record of loyalty and faithfulness to me and to the church.  

In Romans 12: 2 “Be not conformed to this world (its ways of thinking and operating) but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

What you consistently listen to will become what you believe.  It you listen to things contrary to the Word of God, it will weaken your faith in what the Word of God says.

If you listen to conspiracy theories, negative news or everyone’s opinions about everything, it will begin to affect your mind.  Listening to the wrong things may cause you to become a worrier, have anxiety or fear.  

The Word of God does have warnings telling us to protect our minds.  When we renew our minds to the Word of God, it will produce peace and hope, despite what is going on in the word.

II Thessalonians 2: 2 tells us not to be soon shaken in mind or be troubled.

Guard your mind from things that are contrary to the Word of God.  When we receive advice or criticism from those who have not proven themselves faithful to you, their church and the Word of God, we are possibly opening ourselves up to things that will cause us to get off track, cause us to worry or be fearful.  

That is why Paul tells us emphatically to be careful to whom we listen.  

- Pastor Jim
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