Jesus will often say a line after telling a parable that I didn’t understand for a long time. He will frequently say “He who has ears, let him hear.” All of us have ears, so what kind of statement is that?
Throughout my life those words of Jesus become clearer and clearer in my understanding. One of the things that has helped my understanding is coaching youth basketball. Twice a week I have practice for an hour and half with a sixth grade “B” team. I have 9 boys who come to practice and all of them have limited skills. Some of the issue is simply body development such as boys who haven’t grown yet along boys who have grown but are not used to their adult bodies. As a result, we spend a lot of time just trying to develop basic skills for basketball. I quickly noticed the boys fall into two very distinct groups. One group is the boys who really want to learn. They have a strong desire to learn the game and improve their skills. They listen closely and work hard at every drill we do. The second group of boys are the opposite. They usually come to practice late and give a half effort most of the time. The are always talking and never listen close. They have no desire to improve they just want to have fun in the moment.
Watching these boys reminds me of many of the people who attend Church or call themselves a Christian. There are two distinct groups of people who I encounter. One group wants to learn and grow and the other group are living in the moment and don’t really think about growth. Jesus describes the two groups as those who listen and grow and those who really are not listening. Some people have the desire to grow and some people simply do not.
So which group are you in?
If you are the group that really has a desire to grow and change then I have good news for you. Today there are a thousand things to help you out. You can do Google search or look up a podcast or attend a conference or find a group or get the help you need. A little searching and hard work and you can find the help you want to get you growing.
If you are in the second group I really have no idea what to do with you. I am not sure how to get you motivated any more than I can get those boys motivated. This season I have been calm and friendly to encourage them. I have threatened them with no play and extra running. I have shouted and yelled. I have drown outlines on a white board while explaining every possible step. And yet I still have boys who don’t care about getting better as a player.
Let me make this real simple. We need to honestly evaluate who we are as followers of Jesus. But as people of faith we need to honestly evaluate the people around us. What type of people are you investing your time in? What type of people are you surrounding yourself with? Are they pushing you to grow as a believer? Are you pushing them to grow in their faith?
You will only become what you desire to become. So what do you desire?