Learning to listen

Listening, heeding, and hearing is important for Christian spiritual life.

Listen to God: When boy Samuel heard his name being called, he ran to Eli who was his guardian and the priest. He helped him to listen to the voice of God. (I Samuel 3:9) Apart from performing ceremonies and ritual, Samuel learnt to listen to God.

Qualification for discipleship: One of the important qualifications of being a disciple of Lord Jesus Christ is to listen. “My sheep hears my voice.” (John 10:27) In the multitude of voices and notices, the sheep can discern and hear the shepherd’s voice.

Listen twice: “Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this.” (Psalms 62:11) It is a puzzle. It could mean that it is not enough to hear, make the truth relevant by applying and experiencing it. It could also mean hearing in the mind and heeding (obeying) in the heart.

Rebuked for not listening: Peter, John and James missed the greatest conversation in Church history. In the Mount of Transfiguration, the trio slept when they were expected to be awake, listening and learning. Lord Jesus was speaking to Elijah and Moses regarding his departure, events that would happen in Jerusalem and many other things. (Luke 9:30-31) When the trio woke up, Peter started speaking without knowing the context or the content of the conversation. He got a rude rebuke directly from the Father. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Mathew 17:5)

Listening is the source of wisdom: One who listens and in fact seeks truth by asking questions gains wisdom. (Proverbs 19:20) One who listens to the Word of the Lord and lives according to it, is compared to the wise man who built his house upon the rock. (Matthew 7:24-27)

Listening to others: As Christians, we should be listening. Many relational problems in the family and in social life could be easily solved by listening. By listening, we show that we care and also help our brothers and sisters to unload their burdens. (Galatians 6:2)

Am I a good listener?