What Do You Hear?

By Cindy Koch

More and more, I am convinced that we are what we hear. Words have this incredible ability to shape the perception others have about us, inform the identity we have of our own self, and set a pattern for our future. Just like a wise mama once told me, the things we tell our children (good or bad) they will live up to. I learned this the hard way when I mistakenly told my children that kids don’t like broccoli – they made sure to prove my words true.

So, I wonder what you hear on a daily basis. Because I still look into your confused eyes and perceive the longing in your voice. I wonder if your husband has given you the assurance of a faithful job well done, changing the baby’s diaper again this morning. I wonder if you shared the latest embarrassing struggle with another repentant ear. I wonder if a friend forgave you over coffee yesterday.  I’m curious how often you, my friends, hear the words that have forever changed your life and your eternity.

Words of our God tell us who we are – saint and sinner. Words of forgiveness on account of Christ come from the outside and speak us righteous before the Almighty Judge. Words of reconciliation tell us we are His restored creations. But I fear these words are so very hard to find in our busy, self-involved world. A steady stream of emotional reflection and mindfulness shifts our focus directly into our own sinful hearts. Happiness and contentment are the greatest ideals in our society, and they pour directly from our selfish and confused souls. And I wonder, my friends, what do you hear?

My greatest fear is that someday, I will not hear who I really am. I could slip into believing that I am responsible for making my life right with God. I could be counseled that it is my dedication that produces His gifts. I could be coached to search inside for the answers to my identity. These other evil voices could steal my life away from the God who calls me His own dear child.

So, I’ll say it to you, and I need you to say it to me. Simply because we are what we hear. You are forgiven. You are made new. You are forever secure, only because of Christ.