A missionary working on Bible translation in Africa had difficulty findinga word in the local dialect for “obedience”. One day, while walking through a village, his dog took off in pursuit of a chicken. The missionary whistled and called the dog back to his side. An elderly local man sitting by the roadside, impressed by the instant obedience of the dog, exclaimed, “Mui adem delegau ge!” which literally translated means, “Dog yours, ear is only”. In other words, “Your dog is all ear”. This gave the missionary the descriptor he needed for obedience – “to be all ear”.
The fact that the dog heard and acted on the missionary’s call is what made it obedient. When we hear a good sermon, attend a Bible study, or read a Christian blog we may be inclined to think we’ve done enough. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hearing must lead to doing. Obedience is the desired outcome of Bible engagement. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word and does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does” James 1:22-25 (NIV).
© Copyright Scripture Union Canada, 2011