As most of you know, I’m losing my hearing so I miss a lot of the conversations that go on around me. I can’t really enjoy a television show, because it’s hard to determine the plot when you can’t hear the words. My husband is starting to experience some hearing loss as well, so our conversations have become not only interesting, but at times comical.
We don’t realize how important our senses are until we begin to losethem. Listening is different than hearing and is one of those things that can be selective. We can choose what we want to hear. We can sift through the muck and pick up what we hoped to hear. We can ignore the really important things and focus only on the things that apply to us.
The art of being a good listener is slowly fading from our existence. We’re being fed so much information electronically, through the news media, the cacophony of outside “noise” that it makes us crazy and impossible to listen. Our minds act like sieves, sifting through it all and trying to make sense of it.
Unfortunately, when we fail to really listen, we can miss some important stuff. A child may have some important words to share about being teased at school. A teen may have feelings of depression or worthlessness. An older child is struggling with decisions about their future and you have tuned them out in deference to a sporting event or the news.
When your life becomes so filled with outside distractions, it’s time to sit down and look at what God has to say about listening.
James 1:19 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger”
Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. “
Ecclesiastes 3:7 “A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”
Proverbs 18:13 “”If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”
When we take the time to actually listen to someone, we are opening our ears to true discernment.