2013-11-12 - How's Your Reception?
Originally Published 2003-11-21
I will be giving away my age when I admit this, but I remember the days when television signal reception could be affected by wind, rain and the like. The picture would sway back and forth, as we either rotated the dial on top of the TV, or adjusted the Rabbit Ears. I remember that one night, I had to stand there holding the antenna in my hand during the entire episode of "Mod Squad!"
I think we are the same way in our spiritual lives. Sometimes our reception of God's messages and gifts is grainy or clouded.
At times, when we cling to a sin, it blocks our communication with God. Don't get me wrong;we can always pray to Him. But sometimes we don't hear what His Spirit is trying to express to us; sometimes we don't want to hear what He is saying, because there is something we don't want to give up.
Psalm 32:3-5 (NRSV) While I kept silence, my body wasted through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Often our reception is cluttered with busyness (Guilty as charged!) - with very worthwhile activities. But our schedule can become so packed, that we may not even take the time to do what should be the most important part of our day - a personal worship / study time. Confession time- I always do this, but I don't always devote as much time as I should to it!
Psalm 119:97 (NRSV) Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long.
Other times, our reception of God's blessings can be blocked by false pride. We think we have to do everything "Just by faith," with no help from others - forgetting that God put us in the body of Christ with the plan that we would help each other. We refuse counseling because we think it shows a "weak faith," which stands in contrast to Solomon's advice to turn to counselors - as well as Paul's list of gifts which includes counseling (exhortation and encouragement, Romans 12:8).
Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established. (NKJV)
God's word says "iron sharpens iron," and we can't sharpen each other if we let our pride of "not needing help," or our embarrassment, prevent us from sharing.. In addition, Romans instructs us to weep with those who weep and rejoince with those who rejoice - but if we don't share our problems and joys, we can't follow God's will in this. How presumptuous we are, when we refuse God's gifts to us, saying we shouldn't need them! Sometimes we forget that we are not only to give but to receive, as a Christian family member. When we refuse to let others help us (and this is a temptation especially for those of us who often are on the helping end), we are thwarting God's plan and only fulfilling part of the role we have as disciples. We are no better than our sisters and brothers who do open up. In fact, they are showing a teachable and humble spirit!
I encourage you, along with msyelf - to check your signal. How is your reception? What do you need to "repair" in your life, to improve the reception?
Janice P. Moser