Imagine a game of tug-o-war. Without both teams the rope would simply fall to the ground and there would be no game or fun.

Now imagine on one side of the rope is "listening" and on the other side is "doing." There is a tension between the two, but they are both needed.

We can't truly listen without it changing us in some way – our ideas, our knowledge, our way of living. We can't truly do anything without first listening – to our thoughts, to God's call, or to the voices of others.

We need both listening and doing.

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O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill? Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart; who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors; in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the Lord; who stand by their oath even to their hurt; who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent. Those who do these things shall never be moved.

Psalm 15

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As I read today's Scripture I know I am not blameless, and sometimes I might not speak the truth. I do not always live the life God calls me to live. Yet I see two paths I can take in response to this Scripture.

I can be sad that I don't live up to it. I can let the knowledge weigh me down that I will never be blameless.

Or I can feel hope. Hope that God is still calling me. That if I truly listen to God's calling, maybe I can do a few more of the things that are pleasing to God. I can follow Christ better by letting hope inspire me instead of focusing on falling short.

Andrew Noe

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Lord, thank you for hope. It is with this hope that I can constantly move closer to you through listening to your call. Amen.

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Today is a day of tug-o-war,
Listening and doing pulling at you.
Sometimes listening is more important;
In other moments we are called to action.
In both, God is present.
Pray for God's guidance to know when
You should do and when you should listen.

Andrew Noe

Andrew Noe is a children's minister at Buechel Park Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from Baptist Seminary of Kentucky in 2013. He is married to Hannah. They have a dog named Daphne and a cat named Ellie. Andrew enjoys comic books and delicious Kool-Aid.

Forgive Me for the Things

Ken Medema

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