Am I Listening?

Am I Listening?

Am I Listening?

By Linda Wood Rondeau

 

She tried to explain to her teenage son why he shouldn’t keep looking at his phone while his mother was talking to him. He continued working his phone. In exasperation, she lifted his chin. “Didn’t you hear me?”He said in a respectful tone, “I heard you. I just wasn’t listening.”

I thought how well that describes me at times in my walk with God.

Sometimes my lack of spiritual growth is from a failure to listen. Truly listen. Like the kid mentioned earlier, I’m too busy with other things than seeking God. Though I might sense a nudge.

Take your hand off your phone when I’m near.

“I heard you, Lord,” I answer, “but I wasn’t listening.”

Listening is more than hearing. Listening requires a response.

The Bible has a lot to say about listening, the rewards and fallout when we neglect to respond to God’s voice.

Proverbs 25:12 says: Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.

To not only hear good counsel but to head that good counsel is like a basket of precious gems. Am I becoming spiritually bankrupt because I don’t listen?

Proverbs 18:13 says: To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.

Too often I am poised with a ready argument against what God tells me. That’s when I stumble and give myself a spiritual nosebleed.

Proverbs 19:27 says: Stop listening to instruction my son and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

Too often I rush through my devotional time, thinking I have more important things to do. I miss out on God’s special instructions—meant just for me—for my benefit.

James 1:19 admonishes: My dear brothers and sisters take note of this—everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.

Boy, do I need to take heed. Seems my hot head often wins the race over a listening ear.

I read with interest the account of Jesus’s side trip to the temple when, as a child, he visited Jerusalem with his parents. They thought he was lost. Luke 2:46 tells us: After three days his parents found him in the temple among the teachers listening to them.

Did Jesus hear God through the scriptures they read? Did he heed? I think so. If Jesus, who was God, needed to listen, how much more do I need to listen?

The Bible also tells us about Martha, the one who scurried about doing this and that to make certain food was served and the house returned to order after the meal.  In Luke 10:39 we are told: She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

The key is not that Mary lazily shunned her work. Rather she listened to the Lord. His instructions were more important to her than anything else.

                    Multitudes followed Jesus. The crowds were thick with people of varying motives.

Some followed to see if Jesus might perform a miracle or two.

Some followed to see how they might criticize or trap him … to set themselves up as more knowledgeable than our Lord

Some followed simply out of curiosity.

Some followed simply to listen.

To those Jesus said: But to you who are listening—love your enemies (Luke 6:27 NIV).

I want to be among the last group. Speak Lord … and I will listen.

About Linda Wood Rondeau

Award-winning author Linda Wood Rondeau writes blended contemporary fiction that demonstrates, once surrendered to God, our worst past often becomes our best future. Retired from her long career in human services, she enjoys being able to play golf year around. Readers may visit her website and blog, called Snark and Sensibility.

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