The Miracle of the Ear - Living Strong Television Network
The Miracle of the Ear

Speech was not God’s only miracle at Pentecost. The Spirit also gave the gift of understanding, overcoming division and contempt.

Tongues of fire, everywhere. In this loud and furious age, a time of protests and counter-protests, words come burning, singeing, scalding, stinging.

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” James wrote, “because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (1:19–20). But few of us—even those of us who follow Christ—seem to believe that listening more than we speak could possibly meet the reality of these days.

We give into the temptation of “thinking the times require using the tools of the enemy,” as Michael Wear says in The Spirit of Our Politics. We justify our tongues of fire as “just the way you play the game,” disregarding our trail of destruction—great forests put to waste by the sparks from our lips (3:5–8).

Of course, there’s nothing new under the sun. Rage travels more quickly by gigahertz than messenger, but our era is not uniquely chaotic or tumultuous. The church has lived through worse, not least the dangerous early days after Christ’s resurrection and ascension.

“[I’ve] been jailed … beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time,” recounted the apostle Paul of his ministry in that time. “I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. … I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers” (2 Cor. 11:23–27, MSG). …

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