Listen for the Real Thing

I walked outside one morning to find a beautiful bird gleaning the foliage of our backyard bottle brush tree. Since I’d never seen this bird before, I quickly ran back inside for my bird book and phone.

 I have a great app on my phone that allows me to listen to bird songs to help in identifying an unknown call. Thankfully, he was still enjoying the bloom rich branches when I returned, eager to discover his identity.  

I sat on the patio about 30 feet away so not to disturb him as I searched.  His bold coloring made it easy to find a match in the pictures, but I wanted to be certain so I clicked open the app. As I played the first of the recorded calls, my new found fav flew up in the oak tree just above my head. He hopped from branch to branch searching for another Grosbeak as I went through the entire playlist of songs. It was fun at first, faking him out, watching him search in vain for his potential girlfriend, but then I began to feel sorry for him. It wasn’t fair for me to keep tricking him. Thank goodness, even after I stopped with the calls, he remained in the yard most of the afternoon, giving me plenty of time to snap several shots of his beauty.  

Remembering that day made me wonder, am I easily tricked into believing whatever I hear preached or taught, is the truth? If the message sounds good, makes me feel good, or is a message from a well-rehearsed minister or Bible teacher, do I believe it automatically?  Do I pay attention enough to notice if something doesn’t ring true or raises a red flag? Do I take the time to double check their teaching and search God’s Word to confirm their message?

The fake bird call from my phone sounded perfect to that little bird in the tree. It was a very good copy of the real thing. Some people today offer a really good copy of the real thing and most likely they will not stop preaching and teaching it because they start feeling sorry for me, like I did for the bird. He couldn’t tell the difference. He had no way of checking for authenticity other than to search in the trees for another bird. We need only go to one place to verify what we’ve heard – The Bible, God’s Word.  

I love it when, during his sermons, my pastor sometimes says, “Don’t take my word for it, look it up!” I know I can trust that the Holy Spirit has given him the message to preach but it is reassuring, or better yet, it’s confirming. But I do love the offer and the challenge. 

Be careful my friends, there are many fakes out there these days just as the Word said there would be.  2 Peter 2 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories.”

They sound good because Satan is clever and he has put into play a clever copy of the real thing.  Take time to use your best resource and – ‘don’t take my word for it, look it up!’ so you won’t be tricked with fabricated ‘stories’  like the sweet Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

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3 thoughts on “Listen for the Real Thing

  1. Great post, Patti! It reminded me of the Bereans, who “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Oftentimes tales are woven from one kernel of truth. I appreciate your reminder that we stay on our toes 🙂

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