January 11, 2018
Are You Really Listening?
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
— Matthew 11:15
A man and his daughter walked along a road, but he stopped when she started laughing. “Why are you giggling?” he asked.
She replied, “You asked our neighbor how he was doing, and he said, ‘Terrible.’ You smiled and said, ‘That’s good to hear.’ I don’t think you really listened. He made such a funny face that I started to laugh.”
The man turned around and walked back to his neighbor. He apologized and asked him to tell him what had caused him to have a terrible day. They sat and talked a while, and this time the man truly listened to his neighbor. When they parted the neighbor said, “Thanks. I feel better all ready.”
Too often in conversation we’re distracted or thinking about what we’ll say when it’s our turn to speak. When we do that, we’re missing out on caring for our friends and neighbors—and sometimes even strangers. Simply listening shows someone that we care. We truly connect when we listen. We show the other person that we value them.
And this is true of our relationship with God as well. Throughout the Old Testament and the New, we’re reminded that God wants His people to listen to His words and follow them. When we do that, we demonstrate that we value our relationship with Him. In the Old Testament, when God’s people didn’t follow His commands, He sent enemies to overcome them. We might not face enemy armies today, but we do face the consequences of our decisions and actions when we don’t pay attention to God’s words.
He wants us to truly listen to Him for our good and His glory.
Today’s One Thing
As you read the Bible today, really listen to what God wants you to learn.