Hearing What You Need To Hear

On March 10, 1983, MTV played the video for Michael Jackson's "Bille Jean" for the first time.  

Up until that time, MTV executives refused to play the video because they claimed the fledgling music video channel was dedicated to "rock-n-roll."   They only agreed to air the video after the president of CBS Records to pull all of his artists from the channel if they didn't do it.  

Before it aired "Billie Jean," MTV was on its way to bankruptcy.  It had lost $50 million and was projected to lose even more.  Michael Jackson's next three videos off of his Thriller album saved the channel and helped it turn a profit just a year later.  

The problem was, MTV execs had surrounded themselves with people who had the same tastes in music as they did---a move that created an echo chamber where they were only hearing from people who agreed with them.  

Far too many Christians today seem to be doing the very same thing as those MTV execs did.  

We'll spend our entire existence in an echo chamber of cable news, radio, books, and publications that reinforce our beliefs and tell us what we want to hear.  

We'll "shop" for churches until we find one where we'll hear sermons that we agree with, and where we can associate with people who share our views.  

And then we'll expend vast amounts of energy railing against people who disagree with us, engaging in pointless online arguments on Facebook, or training ourselves to be able to defend our faith against anyone who might attack it.  

In his recent book Everybody, Always Bob Goff offered the following bit of hard wisdom: 
"Am I really so insecure that I surround myself only with people who agree with me?   Burning down others opinions doesn't make us right.  It makes us arsonists." 
If you've discovered that your point of view has become a bit narrowed lately... If you've started to realize that you might be living in a bit of an echo chamber... If you look around and see that the only people you know are people just like you...  

Maybe it's time for a change.  

Jesus made a huge effort to reach out to all kinds of people--even those who disagreed with him.  If we are to be followers of Jesus, shouldn't we do the same?  

Today, make an effort to listen to some new voices.  Pray for the courage to not worry so much about hearing what you want to hear.  Instead, pray that God may allow you to hear what you need to hear.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.   

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