Selective Hearing Syndrome
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27, 28 NIV)As a child, my mother would always tell me that I had developed SHS or “Selective Hearing Syndrome” at two years old. I thought that the SHS had gone into remission by the time I was twenty-one because I had not heard the disease mentioned in reference to me for many years--until I got married at twenty-nine, and my wife right away recognized the symptoms. Whenever requests, demands, or commands were being given to me, I inadvertently (because of the disease) would pick and chose the more appealing tasks and would quickly and involuntarily (again, because of this dreaded disease) forget the less attractive demands. I have learned to work with the disability over time; however, it does flare up on occasion, and I find myself once again hearing what I want to hear.
Many Christians suffer from SHS, especially when it comes to Scripture. “Love your enemies,” (except for James). “Do good to those who hate you” (unless it is Sara). “Bless those who curse you," (yeah, right). Lastly, “Pray for those who mistreat you.” (Uh, really?)
I like to tell Christians who suffer from SHS that “Jesus does not stutter.” He really said these things and really expects us (who are supposed to be able to “hear me”) to live these commands. There is no place for Selective Hearing Syndrome if you claim to follow Jesus; His commands were given so that they would be obeyed and followed. “But I tell you who hear me; listen to me.”
Written by Keith Henry
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