Carefully Choose the Messages You Hear
I listen to a lot of podcasts each week. Since I work at home and my wife doesn’t, I often eat lunch by myself. This is an ideal time to listen to podcasts.
I also listen when I take my daily walk—at least each day when the weather is nice enough to go out. I once subscribed to many sermon podcasts, hearing over fifteen each week.
I know what you’re thinking: that’s too many. I agree. Over time, I fell behind, grew overwhelmed at my backlog of not-listened-to messages, and began unsubscribing from the less beneficial ones. Yes, not all sermons are equally valuable.
I culled the number of sermon podcast feeds I was following. I now listen to just two, though I may up the number to three. (Most of the other podcasts I now follow relate to writing and publishing, but some of those have stopped producing content, giving me the space to add another to my list of sermon podcasts.)
When I began cutting back on my sermon podcasts habit, I scrutinized the value of each one.
The first to go were the messages that were more entertaining than educational. Though they tickled my mind with intriguing soundbites or had a compelling delivery, they did little to challenge me or provide spiritual enlightenment.
Next to go were the sermon podcasts that told me what I already knew. With so many better options out there, I saw no point to persist in repetition.
Knowledge Without Application
Third on my list of sermon podcasts I unsubscribed from were the ones that only gave information with no application. Though my mind expanded from this new-to-me insight, my life didn’t change. There was no point in continuing. As Paul wrote, “knowledge puffs up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). I didn’t want to be a puffy follower of Jesus.
I ended up with two podcasts that challenged my thinking. They provided me with fresh insights. These messages enhanced my comprehension of God, expanded my understanding of how I could best fit in his world, and provided actionable challenge. In short, these podcasts produced life change. And that’s the point.
Which Sermon Podcasts?
You may want to know which messages I now listen to. Not to be mean, but I won’t tell you. This is for two reasons.
The first is that the list of podcasts I subscribe to will surely change in the future, so what I post today will not be accurate tomorrow.
The second, and more important, reason is the podcasts impactful to me may not be meaningful to you.
That is, the sermons that give me new insights or fresh perspectives may be things you’ve already heard. You don’t need to hear them again. On the other hand, podcasts that may repeat information for me may be exactly what you need.
This means we each need to carefully make our own list of sermon podcasts and online messages to listen too. May we choose wisely.