Overhearing faith

There are times when people overhear faith. They listen in (or eavesdrop) on what someone else is saying. And then, perhaps at some point in the future, they start to wonder if this God thing might be something for them too.

An example is found in Acts 16. After receiving an unjust beating and being thrown in prison, “Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them” (verse 25). Notice how others were listening. So too was the jailer who, when the time was right, asked them about how to be saved. He believed, learned about God, and was baptized!

He had overheard them singing about their faith.

John Bunyan is the famous author of The Pilgrim’s Progress. Before his faith had become truly personal, he recalls a story about going to Bedford and overhearing some poor women sitting at a door and talking about God. He eves-dropped:

“Their talk was about a new birth, the work of God on their hearts… they talked how God has visited their souls with his love in the Lord Jesus… They were to me as if they had found a new world… At this I felt that my own heart began to shake… I left them… but their talk… went with me… I was greatly affected with their words…” Because of his intrigue he would often go back to listen to them some more.”* 

He overheard them speaking about the power of a personal faith, and it led him to discover a powerful and personal faith of his own.

Brothers and sisters, don’t be afraid to speak honestly about the things of God. You never know who is listening (or how God is working).


–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

–*John Bunyan, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, ed. E.C. Baldwin (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1910), 17-27.

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