Scripture to follow:
I had a good friend in college named Keith. His father was a piano tuner who trained him in this trade when Keith was a child. Keith started tuning professionally at age 9 and was very good at it. He was raised near a nationally famous music camp and one summer he tuned for Van Cliburn (world famous pianist) who was performing at the camp.
There is one thing that I particularly remember about how Keith did his tuning. Although he did it by ear, he disciplined himself to tune periodically with a machine. He found this to be an excellent and necessary way to keep his own ear tuned appropriately. Otherwise, with the passing of time, his ear would go slightly off.
This is such an important lesson for us to consider as we look at our own lives. We have habits, associations, friends, idiosyncrasies, patterns of behavior, thoughts and attitudes – all of which need to be ‘in tune’ to the standard that God has for us. Without diligence, these practices can become ‘off key’ just as much as an out of tune piano. We might think everything is fine because we become deaf (and blind) to the disharmony we’re producing. What appears normal can become strident without us being aware of it. I trust we understand that I am not talking about music here.
Think of the warning in Isaiah 5:40, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who change darkness into light and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter!” It describes lives ‘in tune’ with the world but ‘out of tune’ with our Lord!
What is sexual impurity? What is gossip? Dishonesty? Immodesty? Immorality? What is stealing (in terms of habits and practices done at work)? How about jealousy or gossip? Where do you hang out on Friday or Saturday nights? What do you look at on a computer, your phone or tablet or on TV? Where do we draw the lines on these things? Who or what defines our standard for right and wrong? Acceptable and unacceptable? I never dreamed we’d see the day where the warning in Isaiah would so describe the culture around us.
These are all items, along with many others where we must be in tune with God’s word. What is good? What is evil? [Note: Another way of thinking of this is the question, “Which way is North?” North is not subject to opinion! – and neither is God’s identification of good and evil.] We must care enough to submit everything about our lives to Him. Prayerfully read His word and allow the Holy Spirit to touch anything in our lives. If we’re really listening, He will show us where we are ‘out of tune’.