I have had several email addresses in my lifetime. I started way back in the day with hotmail. Then, I got a gmail account. Shortly after that I started messing around with email addresses associated with my own domain name. One of the reasons I will abandon an account is that it gets on junk email lists. And somehow, it becomes a tremendous burden to just keep the junk out. I just cleared out an email inbox that had over 14,000 junk email messages over the past couple of months.

In the midst of all that junk, there was a little gem that I wasn’t aware of which was what prompted me to look at that account. Someone had sent us a generous gift via paypal and they used that email address. Instantly I was highly motivated to sift through the junk to find the important message.

Have you ever stopped for just a minute and paid attention to all the messages you receive in a day? Not to mention the sounds of life. Right now I can hear my kids voices in the front room as they play, the bathroom fan, the clicking on and off of the oven as my wife makes dinner and the sound of the AFC championship game. There are probably other sounds that I could hear if I turned some of these down.

With that much to listen to, it can be exhausting to wade through it all. Unless we are motivated to find the most important message.

Proverbs 4:1-6

1 Listen, children, to a father’s instruction,
and pay attention so that you may gain discernment.
2 Because I give you good instruction,
do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a son to my father,
a tender only child before my mother,
4 he taught me, and he said to me:
“Let your heart lay hold of my words;
keep my commands so that you will live.
5 Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding;
do not forget and do not turn aside from the words I speak.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will guard you.

There is one voice that we should all listen for the most, but the sad truth is that voice gets drowned out by the superfluous noise of life. But if we can learn how to use the filters on our inbox, we can begin to sift through the clutter to the most important messages. If we pay attention to our father’s instruction and gain discernment, we can learn to see what is most important.

The key is to train our hearts/mind/soul to correctly interpret the messages we receive. Just like we train our eyes to skim through our inboxes to find the emails from people or institutions we care about, we can train our heart/mind/soul to skim through the billions of messages we hear in a day to find the important ones. We can train ourselves to look through the lens of wisdom as we read.

This is not something that will happen overnight, but as we acquire wisdom, discernment and understanding we will begin to see the world for what it is – fallen. And the more we see the messages of this world as coming to us from a fallen world, we will be able to interpret them as such. We will be less apt to try to interpret a message of this world as a message for our souls.

I was tempted to just delete this inbox as I have others in the past. But, if I had I would have missed something very worthwhile. The question for us is, will we learn how to find the important messages?