Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Are We Listening

Matthew 11:15: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

I wonder how many of us hear things but we don't really hear. Dave says I never hear anything he says. I do hear but I am not listening so I wasn't paying attention to what he was saying so I have to say I didn't really hear. Some may wonder how you hear but not listen. If a person really hears, they are going to be able to tell you what you have said or at least the majority of what you have said. Isn't this true?

How many of us have heard our pastor give a message then an hour or two later be able to tell someone what he has said. I am a firm believer there are times we are able to tell someone maybe even five or six hours later, possibly a week later, then there are times we can tell someone at least part of what the pastor said two or three weeks later but there are those times we can't remember what he has said when we get out the door of the church. I am ashamed to say, I have been there. I would be hoping and praying no one would ask me what the pastor's message was all about.

There is a big difference in hearing and listening. When you hear it doesn't mean you are necessarily listening. I can hear a noise but sometimes I can not tell anyone what kind of a noise I have heard. If we fail to really listen to what is being said we could and I repeat could allow our ears to become dull so we hear nothing, if we don't hear anything, we can't listen. I know that sounds funny but just stop and think about that, it isn't quite that funny. God certainly wants us to hear, if He didn't he would not have told us to listen.

To listen means to make a conscious effort to hear, concentrate on hearing someone or something, or to pay attention to something and take it into account.

It is really a shame when we don't listen. The pastor always has something excellent to say, the particular message may not be for you but perhaps to someone else or it could be a message for you to tell someone else about.  When other people talk to us they have something they want us to hear, they aren't talking just to hear themselves talk.

If God didn't think it was important for us to hear why would He have said 'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.' not once but many times. I believe He meant things could be hard to understand so we need to listen carefully so we will be able to understand what is meant. I am not saying every message a pastor gives us or everything a person says to us is hard to understand, what I am saying is we need to learn to listen not just hear.

Do you like it when you have something to say and then no one listens to what you are saying? I don't think any of us like it. I am sure God wants to make sure we hear what is being said so we need to pay attention so we hear and listen. I have just challenged myself to be more attentive to what people have to say to me.


Jenifer said...

Great post! It is so easy to hear someone talk and not really listen. I am bad about that with my husband and kids and yes, with messages I hear. Something I really need to work on. We need to make the effort to really listen.

Lisa said...

We do need to be sure we are not just hearing, but really listening. The Bible says we are to be slow to speak and quick to listen. And we shouldn't just "hear" the Word - we are to "do" the Word.
Thanks for this reminder.

Heidi said...

Ugh... my husband says that about me too :( I am learning to be intentional about listening to him and that goes with anyone and especially God. I think He's talking to us through everyone and if that's really true then we should be listening as if it were actually Him speaking directly to us. I don't want to miss anything He has to say! So happy I stopped by here today, I can tell you are filled with wisdom! Blessings!!

Deane said...

Heidi, thank you for stopping by, I enjoyed having you visit my blog. Yes, the Lord does speak to us through others and if we aren't really listening we miss out on what He is saying to us. Thank you for the compliment, you made my evening. Blessings to you and have a wonderful Christmas.