The search engine Google doesn’t provide any help in this case. I was listening to CCFM this week and the host was quoting a missionary who said that they have to pray constantly because their heart can harden towards God in as little as 15 minutes.
Looking up ’15 minutes’ on Google takes one immediately to Andy Warhol’s quote about fame, but not so much about quotes from missionaries about keeping your heart from being hardened.
The artist Andy Warhol theorised that fifteen minutes would be the time span of fame in the future, as in “in the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes”. Warhol may have been fruit loops bat-cave crazy in some ways but he correctly recognized that fame is fleeting and equal to the attention span of the average Joe on social media. Although, his quote originates from the time before social media.
Fifteen minutes of fame, fifteen minutes to harden your heart towards God. In both cases, the common denominator is the selfish man who craves recognition from other selfish people, or in the case of hyper-selfishness, himself alone. Or herself, let’s not be sexist.
So, back to the missionary unknown to Google and the culture of fifteen minutes of fame. Scripture isn’t merely soaring theory and arcs bringing together the big questions of life, it’s very practical and logical.
From the 1st chapter of the book of James:
“19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger* does not produce the righteousness* God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (NLT)
I read this on Saturday morning just past, having decided to forego my usual scan of Twitter in the morning with coffee. In part, this was because the verse of the day for Friday was verse 21, to get rid of all the filth and evil in my life and to accept the word in my heart.
Twitter is valuable in certain ways but what it has are human beings who are generally not listening and unceasingly tweeting, and therefore slow to listen, quick to speak and even quicker to get angry.
Social media is entertaining but it’s often very angry and very seldom edifying.
This passage reinforced something that I had temporarily forgotten: praying is good and we are to ‘pray without ceasing’, but we are also to listen. And this is by reading Scripture. If I only pray about things that I’m thinking about then that’s one thing, however when I read a passage of Scripture that brings my heart into alignment with Him and I pray through what I just read.
And then I need to convert that listening into doing. James is tough. James is hard core, and I like that James wants to kick my spiritual backside if I’m content to be a Kindergarten Christian.
The book of James is boot camp and helps me from being corrupted by the world.