John Frame (2010) issues a startling warning worth our consideration:
“The power of the word brings wonderful blessings to those who hear in faith, with a disposition to obey. But it hardens those who hear it with indifference, resistance, rebellion. In considering this biblical teaching, I often warn my seminary students to pay heed to what God is telling us here. For seminarians typically spend two or more years intensively studying Scripture. It is so important that they hear in faith, lest the Word actually harden their hearts and become a fire of judgment to them. God’s Word never leaves us the same. We hear it for better or worse. So we should never hear or read God’s Word merely as an academic exercise. We must ask God to open our hearts, that the Word may be written on them as well as in our heads.” (The Doctrine of the Word of God, p. 52)
I think he’s right.
If we harden ourselves to the Word of God, then every time it hits us it will only thicken our callouses.
But if we open ourselves to the Word, ready to hear and respond and obey, then when we hear it, it will keep changing us and blessing us.
So, to myself, to all of us… Be careful how you hear.
Frame, J. M. (2010). The Doctrine of the Word of God. P&R Publishing.