“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” -Hebrews 3:15
Few people can accept criticism graciously (even if it’s “constructive criticism”). We are so good at heaping criticism on ourselves – when we look into the mirror or the photo tagged of us on Facebook, or when we do our work/school work – yet, when someone corrects us, we tend to get all bristly and defensive.
So, when God speaks to us and asks to let something go or make a change in our lives, if we’re not willing to listen, then we remain stagnant in our spiritual growth. For example, if you have a problem with self-discipline and God keeps showing you areas of your life where discipline is much needed – whether its with food, finances, boys, toxic thoughts, or time management – yet, you may sweep the problem under the rug, make excuses or, worse of all, turn a deaf ear.
The people of Israel did that often. They hardened their hearts and didn’t want to change their ways. It would often take great illnesses, wars, deaths, famine and slavery to make them give up their idols and to come back to God. They weren’t willing to be taught and, as a result, they suffered in many ways.
But as Apostle Paul writes here, today, we have the chance to learn from the Israelites mistakes and to listen when the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Even when we don’t like what He says. Even if it means making a complete lifestyle change. Even if everything inside of us wants to hide behind pride and excuses for why we’re fine just the way we are.
Listen closely. What constructive criticism/lesson does God have for you today? How can you listen and obey His instructions?