Week 15 Friday

What You Want To Hear

Today’s scripture selection: Jeremiah 12-16

Key verse: Jeremiah 14:14

It’s a common ailment: wanting someone to tell you what you want to hear.

It’s human nature – the desire to have our opinions ratified; to be assured that we are “right” about what we believe about ourselves, others, and our world.

So it comes as no surprise that the people of the prophet Jeremiah’s day wanted to have soothsayers who would tell them everything was just fine: false prophets.

But the Lord told Jeremiah this:

“Then the Lord said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying lies in my name.  I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them.  They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.’”

The “delusions of their own minds” – that about sums it up.

But lest we think this is not a problem in our own day, think again.  People all over the place are still suffering from the affliction.  They want their friends, or employer, or politicians, or clergy, or family members or therapists to basically tell them what they want to hear.

But we are called to a higher standard.

We are supposed to seek God’s truth – whatever it is.

And the good news?  The truth – that truth – will set you free.

We may not always be comfortable with what God has to say to us about our life situation and our life choices.  But if we follow His counsel – and not the delusions of our own self-appointed soothsayers – we will find life.

Prayer: Lord, give me a discerning heart and mind to know truth from falsehood – whatever its source.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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