Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Two Voices

They used to get in so much trouble for listening to me.

My sisters, Barb & Annette, were just too nice to believe I would deliberately get them in trouble. But it wasn’t really my fault, as I gave them ample opportunity to learn from their mistakes. I mean, really, if your four-year-old sister sent you to the neighbor’s house to borrow scissors so she could cut your hair, would you do it? And wasn’t it really the neighbor’s fault for giving scissors to a three-year-old?


Mom promised them that the bald spots from the haircut I gave them would grow back. But let’s just say that I learned early on that a career as a hair stylist would not be an option.

Hair seemed to be a recurring issue in our sibling conflicts. Since we all had long hair and it took so long to dry, we were only allowed to get it wet as special treats, or to shampoo it. My sisters always asked me, “Did Mom say we could get our hair wet?” Out of sheer perversity I’d answer, “Yes”—whether I’d even asked her or not!

It was hard for them to explain why they actually believed me yet again.

I wasn’t exactly the most benevolent leader; I ruled by intimidation and they were my obedient minions. There was even one point where if I whistled a certain tune, they had to come running to see what I wanted. Otherwise, I threatened to refuse to play with them. Though you’d think they would realize it would not be such a bad thing, I had them convinced they needed to listen to me.

But they didn’t need to at all; we all get to choose whom we listen to.

There is one whose voice is loud. He accuses us before God day and night (Revelation 12:10), and we know “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). He “comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10a). Those negative, discouraging tapes that play in your head? He is the one who loves it when we pay attention to them. He tells us that we aren’t good enough, and tries to shame us into hiding from God. We all know who he is—Satan. Yet even as we realize that he is our enemy, his negative, accusing messages can be easy to believe and hard to ignore.

The good news is that there is another voice.

It is the still, small voice of the One who knows us intimately and still loves us beyond measure. He has loved us from the beginning, and has promised to always love us (Jeremiah 21:3). It is God who calls us His beloved children (John 3:1). It is He who “so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).” Jesus has“…come that (we) may have life, and have it to the full. (He is) the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:10b-11). Best yet? His is the voice that we, as those who love Him back, will hear for all eternity!

He is the one who tells us the truth.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.      John 10:27-28

Further reflection:

  1. Which voice is easier for you to listen to?
  2. Which one is the voice of truth?
  3. How will you be able to tell the difference in the future?

Father, thank You that Yours is a voice of love, calling us into a relationship with You that will last forever. Thank You that it is a voice is full of affirmation, encouragement, hope, and truth. Please, teach me to listen to it more closely, to believe it more deeply, and to treasure it above all others.

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