Ear Wax, Ear Facts, and Ears Earned

We showed this clip of my new favorite commercial yesterday as the sermon began:

Is there any better moment on television than the “Ow!”?  I don’t think so!

I moved from there into some ear facts, including the revelation that you get a new ear canal every year — if  you didn’t, you’d have a two foot string hanging out of your ear by the time you turned 20.  Which means for those of you nearing 100, you’d have a ten foot string hanging out your ear.

So, thank God for our annual ear canal.

All of that was to prepare us for the truth that when it comes to communication, ears have to be earned

Those of us who have a desire to share good news with people who have yet to believe in Jesus are not wise if we blast the truth with no preparation.

And how do we earn ears?

Here’s what Jesus says in Matthew 5:14-16:

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Verse 16 is the key:  that they may see your good deeds.  The way many in the church act, Jesus said “that they may see your good billboards.”  Or “that they may see your good sermons.” 

Nope.  Good deeds.  Evidently, Jesus expects us to show the gospel as preparation for sharing the gospel.

Which landed us yesterday at Colossians 4:5-6 as well:

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Full of grace.  Seasoned with salt.  Churches and Christians all too often do the reverse, having communication styles with the world that are full of salt and seasoned with just a little bit of grace.  It’s why a lot of folks find our message simply not credible.

So the landing spot yesterday?  Earn an ear so you can speak with grace.  That’s they way we’ll share our faith with not-yet-believers, both as a church and as individuals.  We pray the world sees our efforts with the Hope House, the Charlotte Rescue Mission, Room In The Inn, and a myriad of other “good deeds,” and once they see all that, their ears will have been earned.

Which opens up the way for words of grace.  Our own stories being the most powerful words of grace we can offer.  As they say in AA, we tell what we were like, what happened, and what we are like now.

Then we ask, “would you like that resurrection power in your life?”

Ears earned.  Grace spoken.