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"Therefore consider CAREFULLY how you LISTEN..."

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by Hoonbaba, Apr 25, 2002.

  1. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    Hi everyone,

    Here's another email I sent to my friends =)

    God revealed something incredible to me, and I'm compelled to share this with you all. It's about listening. By the way, some verses in this email are taken out of context and such, but I believe God will speak to you too.

    Lately God's been saying to me: "Listen closely to my words" (Proverbs 4:20). I wondered to myself, "Listen? Why's this so important?" And God's answer: "Because you're not listening!"

    Of course it's not that I've been intentionally avoiding God, but rather I haven't been carefully listening to his words, especially when I get anxious. Whenever I'd get a hint of anxiety, I would naturally freak out like a madman and I'd find myself praying...hm.....more like complaining to God. ;) And for a long time, I realize God's probably been saying to me, "LISTEN to me; be SILENT, and I WILL teach you wisdom" (Job 33:33). I noticed I talk too much to God. I don't spend enough time listening to God, and so I've been missing out on Godly wisdom.

    Isn't it true that people who talk too much are very hard to relate with? It's because the listener cannot share with the speaker, and it becomes frustrating. In other words, there's no real interaction. Can you imagine having a one-sided conversation with a friend? Or have you ever met people who talk so much that you can't share? It's frustrating isn't it? The fact is, I've done it to God (and maybe to some friends). I hope I'll never do it again. Because, I know for a fact that God was frustrated, yet he was graciously patient with me. :)

    Or here's an interesting scenario on listening: A husband is at home watching TV, and the wife is stressed out about something. The wife goes to her husband and says, "Can we talk?" and he replies, "Sure" while his face is glued to the TV. Then she says, "No, I mean seriously!" and his response, "Sure honey. Whatever you want to talk about." while is face is still glued to the TV :) Must be frustrating right? Anyone ever have a similar experience?

    I had many experiences where I was stressed out, and after simply sharing everything, I felt a hundred times better, just because someone listened to everything I had to say. Listening is very powerful stuff =) I even felt honored for someone listening to me, because it's clear to me that the listener was willing to sacrifice his/her time to listen to me! In fact one definition of listen is "to make an EFFORT to hear something". Anyone catch that? To listen to someone involves a conscious effort! Anyone bad with remembering names? Could it be that you're not consciously listening and not doing your best to remember his/her name? I'm guilty of it too, so who am I to talk? LOL! ;)

    So, listening involves giving one's undivided attention. This totally blew me away, because God does listen to us ALL THE TIME!!! (Praise God!) And God desires our attention! Matthew 22:37 commands us to love the lord with ALL your heart, soul and mind. I think that's enough to say he wants our undivided attention. In fact God says that doubled-minded people are "unstable in ALL he does" (James 1:8). That would explain why I've been somewhat unstable all the time, because my mind was somewhere else not fully attentive to God, but on something else. It's almost as if I was worshipping God and some idol at the same time.

    So now I have a question for you all, "Have you sacrificed some of your busy time to attentively listen to God? Or are you merely hearing?" In other words, are you really giving all your undivided attention to God? By the way, anyone married or getting married? Learn to listen! It will help! I can totally guarantee that listening will improve ALL your relationships especially with God. :D

    Does anyone know that we communicate more non-verbally than we do verbally? The next time you talk to someone, try to notice their behavior. When they're *listening*, you might be able to notice how attentive they really are. Behavior says a lot more than simply words, or maybe I should say: Actions speak louder than words (by the way, I think this has a lot to do with sharing God's love with others, check out 1 John 3:18!!)

    With that in mind, I once read somewhere that a good listener is a good speaker. So if person A is really good at attentively listening, then person B will enjoy the company of person A! Why? Because on a deeper level person A is giving his undivided attention to person B, so we can see that person A is interested in person B's concerns. How much more would God delight in us when we're attentively spending time with Him alone? =)

    In light of all this, scripture continually tells us that God is interested in our affairs, but are we concerned with His affairs? In other words, are we attentively listening? Here's what God says:

    "...LISTEN to my words; PAY ATTENTION to everything I say." (Job 33:1)

    "PAY ATTENTION and LISTEN to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach" (Proverbs 22:17)

    "LISTEN and hear my voice; PAY ATTENTION and hear what I say." (Isaiah 28:23)

    There's tons other similar passages that say the same thing. I don't know if anyone will agree with me, but spending time with someone (or God) implies you're sacrificing valuable time that could be spent somewhere else. God must be delighted when we spend time with Him!! =)

    By the way, scripture uses the word "listen" 300 something times in both the Old and New Testament.
    Why? Because obviously many people weren't listening. If they were, God wouldn't need to say "listen!" And maybe some of us aren't carefully listening.

    Anyone remember what God said after Jesus was transfigured? God said: "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. LISTEN TO HIM!" (Matthew 17:5). I realize I haven't been listening to Jesus as much as I should've. I've been so caught up with my own situation that I've blocked out God's voice for a while. And I wondered why I couldn't hear him- Because I've been talk'n too much! =)

    Did you ever stop to think about why God created us with two ears and one mouth? Maybe it's because God wants us to listen twice as much as we talk to Him! In fact God even says, "Everyone should be QUICK TO LISTEN, SLOW TO SPEAK" (James 1:19)

    "Therefore consider CAREFULLY how you LISTEN..." (Luke 8:18).

    God bless!

    -Jason
     
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