Careless Listening
1 Thessalonians 5:20
Despise not prophesyings.

Father is ill and cannot go to church. Daughter, who has spent three years at a boarding school and is a communicant and a teacher in the Sabbath school, enters. "Well, Mary, did you have a good sermon this morning?" "Yes, splendid; I never heard Dr. X. preach better." "What was the text?" "Oh, I don't remember! I never could keep texts in mind, you know." "What was the subject? Don't you remember it or some of the ideas?" "No, papa, but I remember a beautiful figure about a bird soaring up into the air. Why, I could almost see it and hear its song!" "Well, what did he illustrate by the flight of the bird?" "Let me see. It was something about faith, or about going to heaven. I can't just recall now what it was, but the figure was splendid." And the father is satisfied. Why shouldn't he be? That was the kind of listening to sermons that he taught her by his own example. If he had heard it he could not have made a better report unless there had been something in it about politics or the news of the day. We are losing the habit of attention and the use of the memory in the house of God. The story of the Scotch woman and the wool has comforted a great many careless and forgetful hearers of the Word. When criticized for claiming to have enjoyed a sermon, and to have been edified by it, though she could not remember a single idea in it, or even the text, she held up the fleece she had just washed, wrung it dry, and said: "Don't you see the water is all gone, and yet the wool is clean. So the sermon is all gone, but in passing through my mind, as I listened, it did me good." We think that hers was an exceptional case. We don't believe in cleansing hearts as she cleansed wool. The Saviour said, "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you." And Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "By which also (the gospel he preached) ye are saved if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you." He evidently had no faith in the saving power of truth that merely rippled on the ear like water over a rock.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Despise not prophesyings.

WEB: Don't despise prophesies.

Words of Warning
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