Don't seek a second opinion to tell you what you want to hear.
When I see the doctor for physicals or other reasons, if the doctor says everything is OK, I respond: "Awesome! See you next time!" This is interesting. Why don't I get a second opinion when I receive good news? Maybe I'm afraid the second doctor might find something that was missed, so it's just best to stay away.
Many people in the church today love to hear a "good diagnosis." People don't feel the need to seek out someone else when preachers tell us things we want to hear. We walk away feeling good about ourselves from these messages, with an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. There's nothing wrong with feeling positive, but the problem arises when the tables turn, and we hear messages about sin or something that is trying to motivate us to change our behavior. What is our response to that?
Many times with a tough message from either a preacher or the Bible directly, we get what I call "dissociative listening." We hear but do not apply the truth to ourselves, or we think of who else to which it might apply. We might nudge our spouse or think of a friend who gossiped about us and wish they were there to hear the message.
Jesus said in Mark 2:17 that He has not come to call the righteous but sinners. I almost feel like Jesus is referring to the righteous here with sarcasm. The Pharisees at the time could not understand why Jesus was with the tax collectors and other sinners. These "sinners" were actually willing to listen to Jesus. The Pharisees were too busy in their self-righteousness to realize that they needed a Savior too!
The problem with getting a "second opinion" when it comes to God is there will always be someone else out there who will tell you what you want to hear. If you seek truth, you will find it. Unfortunately, if you seek what your ears want to hear, you will find that as well.
The Bible warns of this in 2 Timothy 4:2-3: "Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears."
I would encourage you that the next time you hear a word or read a Bible verse that "stings" a little ... or a lot ... don't ignore it. The Holy Spirit is at work in you. If you need to change something, change it. If you need to repent about something, repent. God will lovingly call out sin in our lives in order for us to grow in Him. He wants to cut out the sin from our flesh, so we can be holy before Him. Jesus will see us through this process; after all, He is the great physician!
In this episode of Everyday Discernment on the Charisma Podcast Network, I talk to Dr. Sam Kojoglanian. He is an author and heart doctor known as the Mender of Hearts. He uses his God-given skills to practice with passion, heal with compassion and inspire his patients to live healthier and stronger lives. You too will be inspired after listening to his message in this episode!
Tim Ferrara has grown up in the church and has held various leadership positions both in business and in the church. Tim is currently the executive pastor at LifePoint Church in Arizona. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing from Arizona State University along with a MBA from University of Phoenix. He has had a career in business management for over 20 years and has worked as faculty for two different colleges.
Tim started the ministry of Discerning Dad as a way to write and encourage Christians to grow in discernment and make better decisions that honor God. He has a book called Everyday Discernment: The Importance of Spirit-Led Decision Making as well as multiple YouVersion Bible Plans. Tim lives with his wife, Jamie, and their two children in Arizona.
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