Are you listening?

Do you listen or do you hear?

Some would wonder what the difference is. In our life, it can be the disparity between peace and turmoil, and in our spiritual walk, it can mean the difference between submission and disobedience.
On face value, the definitions appear similar in that we all hear; in other words, we perceive things by our ears. Hearing implies the ability to recognize sound. Everyone, with the exception of the “hearing impaired,” hears – the doorbell, laughter, and conversations.

Listening, on the other hand, implies an effort made on our part to hear. In other words, to pay attention and heed, thus implying action. We listen to our children, our boss, and our spouse. When pursuing an education, a career, or a relationship, the difference between hearing and listening can result in failure or success.

Think about what you hear every day. In the world around us, sound is everywhere from the blaring of loud music to the shuffle of someone following close behind. Constant clatter pours forth from television and radio. These things can play in the background of our lives and we occasionally listen when the sound becomes offensive, frightening, or inviting.

Many noises blend into our surroundings, to the point we no longer notice them – the hum of the refrigerator, the low rumble of the heater kicking on, or the constant flow of vehicles outside our home or business.

All have become familiar.

But, what about God. Do we just hear Him or do we listen.

Many struggle in their walk of faith, desperately wanting to hear a word from the Father. That may be the crux of their problem. Are we being complacent in the midst of how God talks to us or are we eagerly listening?

God speaks to each of us in a kaleidoscope of ways – through His creation, music, His word, and through our pastors and teachers. The question is, are we just hearing or are we listening.

"Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil, Ecclesiastes 5:1, NASB

Blessings, Francine

4 comments:

    On 11:23 AM Cami said...

    This has been my constant heart's desire, to listen to God. And to block out what I hear coming from the world; good, bad or otherwise. It is never, ever the best. I want the best! You're so right, it takes a real effort on our part.

     
    On 4:30 PM Magdaleine said...

    Reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 13, "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, 'You will be ever hearing, but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused. Otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'" MRV (Maggie's Remembered Version)

     
    On 9:35 AM Tanya said...

    Well said! We are always making the distinction in our house. "I know you hear me, but are you listening?" Thank you for the reminder and encouragement!

     
    On 9:43 PM Francine said...

    Thank you all so much for your comments. As is usually the case, I sometimes think that God uses my posts to really speak to me and by His grace, then speak to others.

     
 
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