As we faithfully and prayerfully read the Scriptures, the Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ, and the self-focused tunes that normally operate as the soundtrack of our lives are replaced with the joyful, hope-filled beat of our crucified and risen King.
A person’s ear can be trained to hear any number of sounds. For some, it’s the cry of their own child. For bird lovers, it may be the unique calls and chirps of birds living around them. For others still, the ear may be trained to hear the rhythm, pitch, and harmony of music.
I have no musical ability, and I did not grow up knowing the nuances of notes and melodies. My wife, on the other hand, is a skilled musician, and she grew up in a family that regularly had songs and instrumental pieces break out around their house. Hanging around them is a bit like being an audience member in an interactive musical. Margaret received formal voice training in college, but she also simply grew up experiencing the elements of harmony and pitch. Music has been deeply woven into the fabric of their family.
She and her family have rubbed off on me. I still can’t sing at all, but my ear has gotten to the point where I can typically tell when something in a musical performance is slightly off. I can’t always pinpoint the error, but I can almost feel that something is amiss. As we’re watching one of the singing competitions on television, I usually have to ask, “What is he or she doing wrong?”
In many ways, the Christian life is a process of ear training. To be more exact, it’s a case of ear re-training. You see, because of our fallen nature, our ears are attuned to the deceptive melody of sin. What feels in harmony with the sin-tuned ditty running through my soul are actions and thoughts with me at the center. We intuitively ask, What can I do to bring myself the most honor or pleasure?