Like most people, I love the Christmas season. Terrie and I have been playing Christmas music since before Thanksgiving. We look forward to some time with all our family around later this month as we celebrate Christ’s coming.
One of the songs I enjoy listening to is “Do You Hear What I Hear?” I didn’t know until I researched it this week, but this song was actually written by a husband and wife, Noel and Gloria Regney, in New York City during the hight of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Some of their incredibly descriptive lyrics are the outflow of heightened and tense emotion. In fact, Noel said the first lines came to him as he was walking home through the streets of Manhattan gripped with fear. He saw two mothers walking together, their babies in strollers in front of them. The babies, with not a care in the world, were smiling at each other. It was then that the song lines began coming to him, “Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy, “Do you hear what I hear?” He finished writing them when he got home, and Gloria wrote the tune.
“Do you hear what I hear?” Besides being a familiar song, it’s also a good question.
We are inundated with noise—social media, news media, opinions, advertisements, traffic, horns (especially here in LA County)—it almost becomes noise pollution.
At some point, we have to choose what we will pay attention to…what we will actually hear.
Years ago, I remember being on the farm in Colorado with my grandparents. My grandmother was in the kitchen giving chores to my granddad, who was on the easy chair in the living room not paying any attention. When she called out asking if he was even hearing her, he looked at me, winked, and said, “Selective hearing.”
Although this isn’t the best example of how to practice selective hearing, we should all practice it—just in a different form.
So what do you hear at this time of year? There are three things I choose to hear:
1. Hear truth that edifies.
There are many things which we have no choice but to hear—perhaps they part of our responsibilities to know or respond to.
And there are some things of which we are wise to be generally aware—such as key news events.
But if there is one thing we should purposefully hear and think on it is biblical truth.If there is one thing we should purposefully hear and think on it is biblical truth. Click To Tweet
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.—Philippians 4:8
Make sure you’re spending time in the Bible during this season. Let God’s voice through His written Word be the one you listen to most closely.
There are other ways, too, that we hear truth that edifies—good conversations with Christian friends or books and articles that “are of good report” with virtue and praise (Philippians 4:8). When you keep these sources of input at the forefront of your thoughts, you will be someone who also shares truth that edifies with others.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.—Ephesians 4:29
2. Hear music that encourages.
One of the things I love about Christmastime is that so much of the music is full of encouragement.
But beyond the general sense of joy and hope of the season, I encourage you to purposefully hear godly music that points your attention to Christ.
In fact, one of the characteristics of the Spirit-filled life is godly music of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” Fill your mind with them.One of the characteristics of the Spirit-filled life is godly music (Ephesians 5:18–19). Click To Tweet
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;—Ephesians 5:18–19
3. Hear people who exalt Christ.
Some people spew hatred. Some Christians complain. Others criticize. Choose to listen to people who lift up Jesus—the name which is above every name!Some Christians complain. Others criticize. Choose to listen to those who lift up Jesus! Click To Tweet
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:—Philippians 2:9
I’m looking forward to hearing our Lancaster Baptist School choir in church this Sunday night for this very reason—to hear hundreds of children exalt Jesus.
Every church service—not just at Christmastime, but all year long—should be a time when as a church family we exalt Christ in song and worship and in hearing His Word preached.
Do you hear what I hear?
If you are tired of all the negativity and noise you are hearing this season, if you want to hear more praise and encouragement, I encourage you to purposefully choose to tune out the noise and tune in Christ!