Aug 272020 1 Response

In Chaotic Times Quiet the Voices

When driving through a big city while on vacation, we have a simple rule in the car–no talking. Normally on long road trips, the car is full of conversation. Electronics are playing, the radio is on, and everyone is free to talk however much they wish. But on the occasion that we are navigating through a busy city, I turn the radio off, and ask everyone to be quiet. In those times, it is vital that I hear two voices–the computer voice on the maps app and Jenny. For me to go where I need to go, I have to quiet the other voices so I can hear the voices telling me the truth.

In chaotic times, we must quiet the voices. (See: When Chaos Swirls and Evil Reigns)

We’ve all noticed the strangeness of turning down the radio in order to see better. I’ll pull up to an ATM and turn down the radio as if it is about to speak to me. But the reality is that I’m limiting the amount of stimulus around me so that I can focus on retrieving the relevant information from my brain and typing it properly onto a screen.

The more chaotic things around us are, the more difficult it is to think, act, and feel. We can be so overwhelmed by the stimuli that it is nearly impossible to respond properly.

These moments require intention. When we sense the chaos, we must intentionally limit the stimuli. This means picking and choosing what voices get access to our lives. The more chaotic the moments, the more limiting we must be regarding the voices to which we listen.

The Voices We Must Silence

There are several voices we should silence.

The Haters. Everyone has critics. While normally they should be heard and understood, there are times in which we just don’t have the time or energy to do so. Don’t ignore fair criticism, but it is okay to silence those who find it their life’s calling to critique everyone.

The Sellers. It feels as though everyone is selling something. While there is a time to buy, there is also a time to cease buying. In chaotic times, the sellers can’t be trusted because they will skew the information to sell you more than to help you. Quiet them. While I’m not an anti-media person, it is important to remember that nearly all media is selling you something.

The Naysayers. The haters are negative about you, the naysayers are negative about everything. While chaotic times are tough, good things are still present in every circumstance. Silence the people who lack the ability to see the good even in the midst of the bad.

The Masses. Some struggle to interpret situations by themselves and they simply form the same opinion as the masses. Whatever they are told by their tribe, they believe. They lack the ability to discern truth and struggle to see opposing viewpoints and sides. In chaotic times, you don’t have the luxury to give them a voice. (See: The Crowd Doesn’t Know What They Are Talking About)

The Unnecessary. Some voices aren’t evil or wrong or ill-intended, they just aren’t necessary. The more chaotic things are, the more you should limit even the voices that just aren’t necessary in the moment. Sports are fun, but they aren’t necessary to life. The news can be entertaining, but it may not help you make an important decision today. Determine what matters and only listen to those things.

The Voices We Must Hear

While some voices should be limited, you only limit them so you can focus on the voices that matter. Unless we intentionally listen to the right people, it won’t matter what voices we have limited.

The Lovers. We all have people who love us deeply and can tell us the truth–listen to them. Give them your ear and trust what they have to say. Recognize they might be biased for you, but still listen intently.

The Wise. In a foolish world, we all need wisdom. There are some who are especially wise when it comes to life; listen to those people.

The Encouraging. Some people just have the ability to inspire you. They reach into your life and call out that which is good, giving you the motivation to move forward. Always make time for those voices.

The Holy. Not everyone has the same level of spiritual maturity. While two people might mean well, one may give information from what they believe is right while the other may possess Biblical knowledge to know it is right. Understand the difference and pay attention to those who know what they are talking about. And remember, the Bible often confronts us before it encourages us. Don’t just assume the person telling you what you want to hear is the one who has the Biblical truth. (See: Hearing a Quiet God in a Loud World)

The Voice that Matters

While several voices are important, only One voice truly matters. At all times, we should intentionally focus on the voice of God, but especially in chaotic times, we should limit other voices so that we can clearly hear the Truth.

Several elements are important to hearing God:

Consistent Bible reading. Don’t just turn to the Bible in times of crisis. Continually read Scripture in order to understand who God is. Remember: we get what we should do from an understanding of who God is. Go to the Bible looking for the who, not the what. (See: More Pages, Less Instagram Bible Verses)

Corporate worship. I don’t like to make major decisions outside of times of corporate worship. It is often within the context of worshiping with others that I feel a confirmation about what God is calling me to do.

Silence/nature. We need to empty our heads of the echos of other voices in order to truly clear our mind to focus on God. Never downplay the importance of silence and nature to assist the process.

The more chaotic the times around us, the more important it is that we quiet other voices.

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