Listen Carefully

July 11, 2019
Volume 23, Number 2

Kensli Davis of Milledgeville, Georgia was about to celebrate her 25th birthday. To make the celebration complete, her mother placed an order for a nice decorated cake.
To make the cake personal, she asked that it be decorated with images from Moana, the 2016 Disney animated movie that featured a Hawaiian princess on a mission to save her people. Kensli is “a huge fan” of the movie.

Except “Moana” is not what the cake decorator heard; she heard “marijuana”. The cake Kensli’s mom picked up had a giant green cannabis leaf on it. The mom also told them that she loved “the cartoon”, but they just heard “cartoons”, and drew a horse from the “My Little Pony” cartoons. This horse also happened to be smoking a joint.

Kensli and her mom didn’t make a big fuss, but instead laughed at the mistake. They said the cake tasted just as good, regardless of the illustrations on it.

In the Bible we read of a Syrian army officer named Naaman who was in need of help – he had leprosy. A servant told him about a prophet in Israel (Elisha) who could help him be healed. Naaman soon appeared before Elisha’s house, ready for the healing moment. But the prophet didn’t bother to come outside; he sent word through a servant (a servant?!) to “Go and wash in the Jordan [River] seven times … and you shall be clean” (2 Kings 5:10).

Naaman was furious; he couldn’t understand how bathing in the Jordan River could help his leprosy. He was ready to go back home when he was convinced to give it a try. Sure enough, when he did what God’s prophet prescribed, “his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (2 Kings 5:14).

James states the principle behind Naaman’s example, a principle that will apply to any of us who are looking for cleansing of sin: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19,10). In other words, listen carefully to God.

Anger often interferes with our ability to accurately hear what another is saying. That may not matter if we’re decorating a cake, but what if the information is about the salvation of our eternal soul? Will it matter to God if we confuse what He has said?

How can a soul be cleansed of sin? Here’s what the apostle Peter said in the first recorded gospel sermon: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Have we heard God’s instructions? It’s important that we listen carefully.

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2019, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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