Listen Closely

Have you ever had to have something repeated?

HearingThe older I get the more I have to ask this question! Background noise, poor vocal performance, or some slight speech impediment that made the words hard to understand – they all create the need to ask for a repeat. Pardon me. Again!

Another problem is when we fail to listen closely, as in, “Pay Attention!”

Think about it for a moment, when learning to do something for the first time and especially when you think it important, then you usually pay close attention!

Not to admit to something that I would wholeheartedly disagree with – sometimes the problem is we enjoy the aspect of not hearing others very well. We can tune out, or in, at a whim! Truly, it is a an aspect of aging hearing that I can truly enjoy!

But when those of influence speak, we pause to listen closely. Back in my young adult days there was a stock brokerage company called E.F. Hutton. Their advertising in the 70’s and 80’s revolved around this comment:

When E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen! 

It usually involved a noisy room with a lot of conversation until someone mentions the company name and then dead silence and everyone turns their ear to hear something potentially important!

There are voices we want to hear, as well as voices we want to ignore. I remember even a younger time when I started to enjoying the preached Word of God. Sitting on the front row or two, I would zone in on the Word with my pen at the ready to jot down notes. I have many pages of outlines from those early years, and I think it was the early formation of my calling into the ministry.Some were more “talented” than others. Some gave me more “value” than others. Regardless, I believe it was all the Word of God and it does not return to the Lord void of any benefit.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:9-11 KJV)

Even when I do not listen closely, the Word is absorbed into my mind – just like very sound that surrounds me. Think back and you will remember the sound of the wind through the trees as you walked the dogs, but you may not have remembered listening closely for it.

Several times Jesus used this phrase, “He that hat ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11;15, 13:9, 43) It was usually combined with a parable and the concept of hearing was that one should listen with understanding. Now, understanding does not always come immediately! But when you dwell on the word, ponder it, drink from it’s well, then eventually the word gives itself the meaning needed to understand the parable or teaching.

Hears a side benefit from listening closely, you show others how well you heard by the example you give.

Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. (Philippians 3:17 NKJV)

Be a poor example, and you will produce poor followers. Be a good example and you will produce good results in those that follow your pattern…

I hope you are reading this and understanding! Listen to the words closely!

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