True hearing requires action.

There are numerous exhortations and encouragements in Scripture for us to hear God’s word and that God hears our voice. Within this context of hearing its important to note that hearing is more then just making mental note that you have heard, instead hearing requires us to put what we hear into action.

Jesus tells the story about a person who was asked to do something to which they said yes they would and never followed through with it. While another person said, no, they were not going to do it, but later on, went and did it. Within this framework, its the second person who truly heard what was asked of them.

James tells us, while you might tell me about your faith, let me show you my faith by my works. We may say that we love God, but do we really show that we do love God in the way we love others? Do we merely say to those whom are in need of provision, visitation, shelter, food, help or more – God loves you!

Or do we engage in real love, display real love and show that God indeed does love by helping to provide clothing, to visit, provide housing, food and help for those in need and in doing so, can also speak of Gods love with them.

About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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14 Responses to True hearing requires action.

  1. tildeb says:

    Or you could act to try to better the conditions of your fellow man because it’s the right thing to do. Isn’t that a better reason than doing it to try to impress and please an overlord?

    • Craig Benno says:

      Tildeb. The command of God to truly love has been a command of God from the beginning and your comment about loving and trying to better our fellow man because it is the right thing to do, stems from what we were created to do.

      Sin has so broken humanity that true love is rarely seen. I’m interested in what you actually do to better humanity?

      • tildeb says:

        I do much, Craig. I work with people who require aid. So I aid. I make beautiful sounds. I donate time and money and effort where it is needed, where I can contribute. I make my small corner of the world a slightly better place today than yesterday richer for me being in and interacting with it and the life forms that populate it. I do my own form of pastoring without any need to spread superstition and fear. And I don’t believe in sin; I believe people often do the wrong thing for the right reasons and the right things for the wrong reasons… not knowing there’s a better way. I help people find that way.

      • Craig Benno says:

        Your not far from the Kingdom Tildeb. Your compassion is commendable. However, Jesus said he is the way. He said he is the Truth. And he said he is the Life. Either he was a lunatic, a liar or who he said he was. And my prayer for you is that you will truly come to know Christ: As the truth, as the way and as the life. 🙂

      • tildeb says:

        But please note, Craig, that I do what I do because I think they are worthwhile in their own right. Although you may undertake similar actions, your motivation brings into question whether or not these acts are worthwhile in their own right. It seems to me that you have an ulterior motive for performing these acts: to turn their exercise into expressions of your faith. In other words, your faith co-opts basic human altruistic values and tries to piggyback some religious context on them then this context undermines the honesty and integrity of the ‘selfless’ aspect of those who undertake them. Religion in this sense poisons the act from being altruistic to being a form of theological advertising.

      • Craig Benno says:

        Tildeb. Within my framework of existence, I believe all are created in the image of God and therefore all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect because they are made in the image of God. Even you. 🙂

        I find it interesting that you help people because you say they are worthy in their own right…yet at the same time those same people whom you help and say are worthy – you have no qualms in aborting them before they were born. When does the state of worth begin in someone’s life and existence?

      • tildeb says:

        Craig, I was referring to the acts as worthy in their own right and have nothing whatsoever to do with what you assume god does or does not ‘command’. It is this very point that undermines any claim you might make to act altruistically. And, again, we are not made in the image of god unless you consider god to look like a pre-Cambrian blood worm… our oldest known common ancestor.

        I don’t abort anyone. But I don’t presume to have the god-sanctioned right to tell another person she may or may not do with her body or feel I honour my god by turning her into an incubator to soothe any queasiness I might feel about ending the potential of creating a baby. This, too, goes back to your point about god where you presume all our lives belong to this tyrant rather than ourselves and wish to codify this tyranny into law. You have no qualms about advocating the use of law to eliminate the right to choose motherhood and this, too, speaks to your inability to be an autonomous moral agent free to practice altruism.

        As to when a fetus becomes eligible for individual rights equivalent to the mother, obviously this cannot be granted before viability and this is where most abortion laws come into effect. My preference for rights after birth.

  2. Craig, so true that it’s not what we talk about, but what we do. Sometimes, though, I think it is easier to think in terms of “social justice”, and overlook the relationships that are closer to us – like the way we respond to that annoying neighbour, or how we deal with our own children in their difficult moments… Who we are and what we truly believe, really does “leak out” in our little day to day actions. In fact, I think that is where it is truly most evident. (not disagreeing with your post at all… just adding a little thought 🙂

    • Craig Benno says:

      Kerry, I think Jesus and Scripture is very clear about social justice happening within the home and how we are to treat each other. It’s truly sad how those principals of communal living are so often distorted and or ignored.

  3. tildeb says:

    You gloss over my criticism too quickly, Craig, which needs some serious reflection.

    Bullying means to affect by means of force or coercion.

    From Penn Jillette:

    When I’m raising my children, my job is to get my children to act in ways that are moral when there is no fear and no reward but to do it for the sake of doing it. When you add everlasting life as the reward and torment as the punishment there can be no morality.

    Showing care and concern for others may be presented as a religious mandate but the religious motivation derived as it is from god-bullying neuters these acts from its altruistic morality.

    When you assign the act of care and concern for others to be a sign of god’s love working through you, you do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Any claim you might make that religion promotes morality through good works is undercut by the coercive philosophy religious belief imposes on the motivation for these acts… a motivation not to do good work for the sake of good works but for benefit to self to look good in the eyes of this divine tyrant.

    • Hi Tildeb,

      I almost replied earlier… I know that religion has for centuries used “heaven and hell” as carrot and stick. It’s a typically human means of control. And controlling religion – both you and I agree, is evil.

      However I don’t believe we are called to “obey an overlord”. I think the whole beauty of following Jesus, is that He demonstrated love toward us – unconditionally. If we accept this, we accept that we are intrinsically valuable, that we are loved – regardless of performance – and, secure in this love, we are better able to value and love others. We love, because we have been shown love. There is no carrot and stick, and no fearful overlord at all.

      • tildeb says:

        Kerry, that’s a lovely thought and I sincerely wish I could agree with it; however, it is not Satan or Baal or some other terrible creature who brings us eternal damnation and everlasting torture and suffering. It is Jesus the Christ. It is he who introduces this ‘stick’ to us, this abomination of immorality for our failure to willingly follow him. That’s not unconditional love, Kerry; that’s the worst kind of emotional and physical blackmail. It is the very foundation for christian tyranny over this life in preparation for the next.

        You have been fooled.

  4. That’s not been my experience 🙂

    • Craig Benno says:

      Kerry! It’s not mine either! When I became a Christian and experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I experienced waves of love pouring over, washing through and welling up within me. A love that was incredibly powerful, gentle and accepting.

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