Christian Living listening

Selective Listening

Can you hear me now, God?

It happens every 4th of July – Independence Day here in the USA. In our little hamlet it’s perfectly legal for folks to shoot off fireworks, on the streets and from their back yards. And each passing year the relentless noise seems more startling to my sense of well-being. Time to break out the ear plugs.

So I’m sitting at the kitchen table (plugs in) surfing the net, when my wife comes in and starts rummaging through a cabinet drawer. She looks my way and says something unintelligible. I respond, “If you’re telling me something right now I can’t hear you.” She starts laughing, because she was chiding me (kindly) for misplacing the ink pen that goes in the drawer. Confession: I occasionally employ something called “selective spousal listening.”

This whole scene made me think of something God said to Israel during the prophet Isaiah’s time.

Don’t think the Lord is too weak to save you or too deaf to hear your call for help! It is because of your sins that He doesn’t hear you. It is your sins that separate you from God when you try to worship Him.

Isaiah 59:1-2 (GNT)

Here’s an experiment: Watch television for a week and count the number of times you hear the word “sin.” I suspect you won’t run out of fingers. Transgression of divine law isn’t something the world cares to talk about. But why?

Somehow we know instinctively there’s nothing wrong with God; the wrong is in us. Sin damages our fellowship with our Creator and disrupts the ability to communicate with Him. This causes even unbelievers to scurry for the shadows (John 3:19-21).

Have there been times when you’ve tried to talk with God, but it felt like He wasn’t tuned in? Me too. “Child, if you’re telling me something right now, I can’t hear you.” Of course the Lord isn’t deaf. But He occasionally employs something called “selective divine listening.” Our unconfessed sin plugs His ears.

Thankfully, there is a solution:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

God always listens to prayers that start with, “Sorry, Lord. It was my fault…”

A Parting Thought:

Jesus often slipped away to spend time alone with God (Mark 1:35). He also led a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15). Is there a connection? You and I will never be sinless–this side of heaven. But we would do well to follow Christ’s example.

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Photo by Khoa Vu00f5 on

By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

35 replies on “Selective Listening”

Wow. You’ve shared some great lessons—cringe worthy or not, Aimee! I like how you say everything starts and ends with God. He is the potter and we are the clay. Not the other way around. Blessings!


::Cringe emoji::
Yes, I can name several things I have prayed for that seemed to bounce off a brick wall while seas were splitting all around me… EXCEPT FOR THE ONE THING.
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:3

WHY did I want those things answered? For genuine concern or selfish gain?

My prayers were not aligned with God’s will. He gives us our desires as HE PUTS THOSE thoughts in our minds and hearts and then in HIS time, and HIS PURPOSE and glory, answers them. But, it’s never about us and always about Him.

Lots of (cringe filled) lessons learned.

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Thanks for stopping by, Brenda! Your comment reminds me of the scripture, “Lord, if you marked out transgressions who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, therefore you are feared.”


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I love to spend time with my Heavenly Beloved in nature, Gods creation.
I go by the motto when you mess up you fess up. That keeps my conscience clear before both Poppa and man.

I have met too many with selective hearing. But, it always comes back to bite them.

I just am firm but respectful to them and inform them I do not tolerate their childish behaviour. It is time to put the big boy or big girl panties on ( to grow up ) and behave like a man or woman.

Most of them avoid me like the plague after that. That is good because they are nothing but trouble to begin with.

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It’s definitely true that we instinctively know that God’s view of our thoughts, actions, or a situation is the correct view.
We instinctively know that he sees our motives, and knows what’s really going on inside us.
Hopefully, we also know he is loving and gracious will help us if we are willing to talk to him about things 🙂

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Well said, Betty! Your grandmother was right. Reminds me of my favorite Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote:

“When a thoughtless or hurtful word is spoken, best tune out.”

Thanks for stopping by, Betty. As you like to say: Enjoy your day!

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You’re welcome, Barb. BTW, I read all my posts to Nancy (my wife) before tapping “publish.” She thought my selective spousal listening term was funny too—we’ll sort of. ☺️


Your story reminds me of my Grandma who used to say my grandpa would get crabby in his old age, but it was okay because she couldn’t hear him. 🙂 Being humble and letting down our defenses works wonders to soften and open another’s heart to us – both our Lord and other humans, too.

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Thank you for sharing, Bridget. I don’t want to ever be in a place where God isn’t listening to me either. After many attempts to reach my son, I heard back from Him last night! It was simply a short “I love you too, dad” text, but he responded! Thank you for your continued prayers.

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What a blessing to know that we can run to the Father and confess our sin, and He will gladly forgive us and wipe us clean. I think sometimes we take this precious gift for granted. I don’t ever want to be in a place where the Lord does not hear me. But I know we all have been there. Thank you for sharing.

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Yes selective listening is something I have often been accused of. The upside is I can read in a busy airport without being disturbed by the chaos. The downside is I can read in a busy living room and miss hearing my grandchildren asking to go the park! Of course God does still hear us, in fact he records every word, but sin stops our ears from hearing God when He is telling us to stop.

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Yes, Manu. May we go with humble hearts to God seeking His forgiveness. Sin is so pervasive and invasive, it often slips into my life unnoticed. It’s the regular reflection that you mention that helps me see it for what it is. Blessings!

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Well said David, our unconcealed sin does plug God’s ears. I do think regular reflection is important for awareness of sin in our lives.
May we go with a humble heart to God seeking His forgiveness.

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