I’ve been watching a lot of the TV show Shark Tank recently. On the show, people bring business ideas in front of investors and try to strike a deal. It is entertaining seeing the different business ideas and products people have. Just today I saw an episode where a guy pitched a company called Rent-a-grandma. I’m sure you aren’t sold on the idea by the name, and the sharks weren’t sold on the pitch. Even more than the pitches, I love hearing the sharks debate about it. My favorite shark on the show is Mark Cuban. I’ve always liked his style as a NBA team owner, and I really like the way he wheels and deals on the show.
If there is one thing all the sharks on the show know how to do, it is how to evaluate an idea. The sharks know to sniff out if a deal is good or bad. It amazes me their abilities to sort through all the pitch and really get to the details that matter. People come in their with all sorts of ways to hide the flaws in their business, but that doesn’t phase the sharks. When the sharks see a good deal they go after it. They will bargain with or against each other. They will do whatever it takes to get a deal. But when they sense trouble in the water, they run. The sharks won’t hesitate for one moment to say, “I’m out.” They know all the questions to ask to get to the bottom of things. There have been people that come in with things that sound like a good idea, but once the sharks start the inquisition it all falls apart. It doesn’t matter how good someone can get their idea to sound, if the sharks sense there is something off they get out.
I think there is a lot to be learned from the sharks, not only on a business level but on a spiritual level. Just like the sharks can discern a good deal from a bad deal, we should be able to discern God’s voice from all the other voices. Yet I think this is something way too many people struggle with. Whenever we have a big decision to make, there are always lots of voices to sort through. There are usually a few voices that you will always get.
Negative Nancy’s- Every time you have an idea or decision you are really excited about, there is always someone to tell you how horrible it is. If you watch the Shark Tank, Kevin would fit this type. Right or wrong, this person will tell you about how silly you would be for making that decision.
Supportive Steve’s – This type of person will jump on board with your idea no matter what it is. Positive encouragement can be a good thing, but these people are dangerous. If you told them you were planning to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, they would be there to help push you off.
Follow-your-hearters – I’m sure everyone has had someone tell you, “Just go with your gut.” I am floored by how many people claiming to be Christians will say, “Just pray about it and then follow your heart.” This is so unbiblical it’s not even funny. If you get this response from someone you should run far away. Proverbs 17:9 tell us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it?” The heart is deceitful, perverse, and corrupt. If someone tells you to follow that, they are giving you terrible advise.
The voice of God – In the midst of all the other voices, there is always the voice of God. John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” God’s voice is there and He is telling you where to go. The problem is that most of us aren’t used to hearing it. As Elijah found out in 1 Kings 19, God’s voice was not in the windstorm or the earthquake. It was the gentle whisper.
So many times we get so caught up in all the noise people make that we get distracted from hearing the gentle whisper of God. It’s time for us to get rid of all the noise. When you were reading my descriptions, people probably came to your mind. If they did, stop going to them for advice. The best way to learn to hear the voice of God is to spend time with Him. Ever noticed how a mom can distinguish their kid’s crying from a roomful of crying kids? That’s because they have spent a lot of time with their child and know their voice very intimately. The same is true with God. The more time we spend with Him, the more intimately we will know His voice. When we have that intimacy, we will be able to pick His voice out of the crowd.
until next time…
Comment Question: How do you silence all the other voices?