One of the things that I think is most important about the listening process is the response. It is not enough, it seems, to just listen to someone. That’s a whole lot of passive listening going on-just listening to hear, not taking anything in. Instead, I need to become a much more active listener-actually taking to heart the things that I have heard. For instance, in yesterday’s sermon, there were certain portions of it that really spoke to me. Now, I can’t just have heard it then and let that be it. It’s not just that I was paying attention that matters-I’ll know I’m a better listener when I begin acting on the things that I hear. This is especially important me when it comes to my faith. I truly believe that God communicates with us all the time, and I with Him. The things He tells me are majorly important! If I need to listen and respond to anyone, it’s my Father.
Look at this passage of Scripture. Here, Jesus is explaining the parable He just told about a sower and his seed:
“18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
This is pertaining to anyone who hears the word of God. There are those who don’t understand it to begin with. There are those who hear it, but don’t allow it to take root in them and they really weren’t listening at all. There are those who hear, and listen, and understand, but don’t retain. And lastly, those who hear and listen and understand and allow that Word to really illicit a response from them I want to be a listener who responds, especially to God’s Word. With all of of the stuff I have learned, a lot of it applies to actual conversations with people. I can’t really have good body posture while talking to God, or look Him in the eyes as He talks to me. But I can understand. I can give Him my fullest attention, I can be attentive. I can even take notes. Most importantly, I can ask questions and clarify what He means, because I am striving to understand Him and then use what I have learned.
(all vocabulary has already been used in previous posts)