APPRECIATION WITHOUT APPLICATION
Most of us love music. Though we have very different tastes, we share an appreciation for how music adds to our lives…enjoyment, inspiration, and beauty. And yet, for most of us, music doesn’t define us. We listen to it, but we don’t live by it. We know and even sing the words, but we don’t generally apply them to the way we live our lives. And, this makes sense. After all, most music is more committed to expressing feeling than truth. It’s more about creating beautiful art than sharing genuine wisdom.
Unfortunately, I find that most people tend to respond to the presentation of God’s Word in the same way. This DOES NOT make sense. Unlike music, God’s Word should define us. We should never listen to it without seeking to live it. It is not enough to appreciate it. We must apply it.
Though, in the same way we do with music, we’ll have very different tastes when it comes to how God’s Word is taught. As well, there’s nothing wrong with spiritual teaching that is enjoyable, inspirational, or even artful. But, unlike music, it is ultimately worthless if we don’t believe, embrace, and apply it to our lives.
And yet, this is a very normal response. It was in the past. And, it is today. Don’t believe me! Then, you should read Ezekiel 33:30-33. This isn’t my idea. It’s God’s.
So, when you have the privilege of sitting under or hearing God’s Word faithfully taught, make sure to go beyond appreciation to application. When you do, it will transform your life. And, if you’re a pastor or spiritual teacher, don’t ever minister God’s Word in the pursuit of appreciation. The only worthwhile goal of preaching or teaching God’s Word is life change…and that demands application. Make sure you challenge people to apply it and make sure you give them the opportunity.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!