Have you ever been accused of having selective hearing? Maybe your spouse, a teacher, or a friend has brought it to your attention that you seem to “tune in” some messages and “tune out” others. We’ve all probably been guilty of this practice, but there are times when selective hearing is not such a bad thing.
In Psalm 38, David wrote about a troubling time when certain people were out to get him. “Those who seek my life lay snares for me; Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction, and plan deception all the day long” (v. 12, NKJV). David admitted, “I am troubled … I go mourning all the day long … I groan because of the turmoil of my heart” (v. 6,8).
Yet, the psalmist eventually gave an interesting response to the accusations against him. “I, like a deaf man, do not hear; And I am like a mute who does not open his mouth. Thus I am like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth is no response” (v. 13-14). He continued, “For in You, O LORD, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God” (v. 15). In other words, David was declaring that he was going to practice selective hearing. He was going to tune out the hurtful messages from his enemies as if he couldn’t even hear them.
You may have experienced times when people falsely accused, misunderstood, or misrepresented you. In those difficult times, it’s tempting to fight back, get even, or “set them straight.” However, it is better to renew your hope and trust in God alone. Instead of pondering on people’s remarks and being filled with worry, declare your trust in God and be filled with hope. Remember to live for the approval of God more than the approval of people.
This principle can also be applied in other ways. You may not have people talking negatively about you, but you may struggle with accusations in the form of negative thoughts. You see, the Bible refers to the devil as “the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10, NIV). We usually “hear” such accusations in our minds. It’s often said that our biggest spiritual battles are fought in our minds.
You may “hear” the accuser in your mind through thoughts such as “I’m not good enough,” … “Nobody likes me,” … or “I’m going to fail.” Be assured that thoughts of despair didn’t originate from God but from Satan. Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV). Let that truth be the litmus test for your thought life. Thoughts of victory and abundance come from God; thoughts of defeat and lack come from the devil.
The apostle Paul admonished, “Whatever things are true, … noble, … just, … pure, … lovely, … of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). So, what do we do with the thoughts that don’t meet this criteria? In another scripture, Paul taught to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV).
Therefore, pray for the supernatural ability to demonstrate selective hearing and thinking. Let’s listen for truth from God, not lies from the accuser.