February 08, 2005

Listen

"Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice." - Proverbs 4:20



I once had a friend that didn't listen. She would ask me a question, then when I'd start to talk, she would zone out into another world. Sometimes she would look away at something else, then look back at me with a blank, "Yeah." Other times she would stare at me, with that far away look in her eyes and I knew that she definitely wasn't with me. It made me feel like I and what I had to say was unimportant.

If we are not careful, we get so busy that we forget to stop and listen. Listening is more than hearing. Hearing happens with our ears. Listening happens with our heart.

The word "listen" means "to hear with intention." That means there is a greater purpose than just hearing. We should take the words we hear and digest them into our heart, with the purpose of achieving an outcome that will guide our actions.

I'm sure you've heard the age-old saying that our actions speak louder than our words. You know why? Because when we hear what someone is saying, we can easily walk away unaffected, unchanged, unmoving. But when we listen with our hearts, we are able to digest the words we hear, then take them and turn them into a map that will guide our actions.

Do you hear, or listen?