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Hearing tells you that the music is playing; listening tells you what the song is saying.

One of the least developed skills among us human beings is that of listening. There are really two different kinds of listening. There is the natural listening in interaction with other people, and there is spiritual listening to the voice of God.

It has been said, "Men are born with two ears, but only one tongue, which indicates that they were meant to listen twice as much as they talk."

In natural communication, leaders always "monopolize" listening. What we learn about another person will always result in a greater reward than what we tell him about ourselves.

We need to learn to listen and observe aggressively. We must try harder to truly listen, and not just to hear.

In regard to spiritual listening, Proverbs quotes wisdom who says:
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. There is great wisdom and favor to be gained by listening.
(Prov. 8:34-35 NIV)
Proverbs also says:
He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.
(Prov. 15:31 NIV)
Listening allows us to maintain a teachable spirit. It increases our "teach-ability." Those who give us a life-giving rebuke can be a great blessing to us. The Bible teaches that we are to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). We must never listen passively, especially to God.

If we resist hearing, a hardening can take place in our lives. Callousness can develop. In Luke 16:31 (NIV), Jesus said of a certain group of people, "...If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead."

The more we resist listening to the voice of God, the more hardened and less fine-tuned our hearing becomes.

There are results of spiritual hearing, as we see in Luke 8:15 (NIV). This passage relates to the parable of the sower: "...the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop."

Harvest is associated not only with persevering and good seed in good soil, but also with those people who hear the Word of God and retain it.

Fine-tune your natural and spiritual ears to listen and learn.

Source: An Enemy Called Average
by John Mason.
Excerpt permission granted by Insight Publishing

Author Biography

John Mason
Web site: Insight International
John Mason is a highly regarded international speaker, minister, professional author coach and best-selling author. He is the founder and president of Insight International and Insight Publishing Group.

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