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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Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, saying, “When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances, buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”

Amos 8:4-6

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When I was young I rode the school bus. The older kids on the bus would sell me cheap Pokemon trading cards for more than they were worth. Thinking I would be "cool" like them, I would stupidly give them all my lunch money for the cards.

I wouldn't eat because of their tricks, and because I didn't think ahead. Years later I saw the same tricks being pulled on kids younger than me. I sat by and did nothing; I just let it happen.

Too often people just stand by and let others be taken advantage of. We should do a better job listening for the cries of the trampled and do something about it.

Andrew Noe

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Lord, help me to listen for those in need. When I hear those cries, help me to do something for them. 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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