hearing vs doing

tough message from the pulpit today.  pastor challenged us to build our houses (families) on the rock (Jesus Christ) so that when the storms roll in, our houses will stand.  while there are many kinds of storms one thing is true:  storms are inevitable.  just like time and chance, they happen to us all.  matthew 7:24 tells us that the same storm hit both houses but only one of the two houses remained. the owner of the house that withstood the wind, rain, and flood was considered wise because he listened to and applied Christ’s lessons.  lessons on forgiveness and adultery, righteousness and judgment, prayer and fasting, love and murder.

what i find so powerful about the scripture is that every person/family will be hit with the tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards; but isn’t it interesting that some families crumble while others grow even stronger?  family A can face drug addiction, molestation, adultery, even murder and emerge from their storm a stronger unit than had they not endured it in the first place.  then there’s family B who, when faced with the same storms, falls apart; divorce, division, and dissension is their aftermath.  the members of family B blame one another for the trials and as pastor said, they get angry with the storm. the way they handle the situation determines the outcome. trust, i’m a living witness to that approach. by contrast, family A seeks Godly counsel, forgives the offender and drives out discord.  how do they do it?  by building their house on the right foundation.

the other nugget pastor dropped on me, “an unforgiving spirit is a setup for a house that will be blown down when the storms come.”  he said that what happens in the atmosphere can intensify the storm.  what may have started as a rain cloud becomes a thunder cloud and eventually a tornado.  he said that negative words and thoughts swirling around your home, feelings of jealousy and competition with one’s spouse, or unforgiveness for a fault charges the familial atmosphere and creates a storm of monumental proportion with catastrophic results.

he left us with a final challenge:  don’t just listen to the Word, do what you hear (James 1:22). many Christians sit in church every week and hear the Word preached and rationalize it, “i hear what you’re saying pastor, but i’m not feeling that.” and you know what, he’s right.  after a recent experience with my family i decided i’ve been used and disappointed for the last time.  so i’m struggling with doing what i heard today.  i really am.

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