Most communication failure is because someone did not listen.
16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”
For me, this passage talks about expectations and consequences of actions (judgement by God) and the key is verse 18 “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.”.
Just about every time something does not go to plan the finger is pointed at communication or the lack therefore. There are numerous books and courses on communication. However, communication is basically made up of someone telling and someone listening. For Christians, God does the telling and we do the listening.
Looking up the definition of ‘listen’ I find that it is a verb, an action word. It is not just hearing but to give one’s attention to a sound, to take notice of and act on what someone says, it is to respond to advice or a request. Further, there is an expectation that we will make an effort to hear something or be alert and ready to hear something. This is not passive receiving of a message or even understanding what you hear, but giving something back in a response.
Time and time again, in an endless cycle, the bible portrays Israel’s failure to listen and subsequent falling away or turning aside from God. Not listening results in judgement, but when they do listen, they turn to Him and for a time enjoy a wonderful relationship with Him. This right relationship is what we need. It also enables us to share God’s message with others (no one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar) and glorify Him. It is a responsibility that we need to consider carefully as we are invited to live fruitfully in God’s family, by demonstrating that we are putting His words daily into practice.
Head: Think about some of the times you have not listened to the word of God and what the consequences have been.
Heart: Praise God that we have the privilege of His Word that guides and directs how we can trust and obey Him, and how our lives should worship Him.
Hands: Heed the call to action when we listen to God’s Word. Do something today in response to God’s amazing gift of grace to us that made us free – share it!
Prayer: Gracious Farther, thank you for your Word that can be conveyed either as written or spoken, that demands a response. Thank you that the response is to what Jesus has done for us through His death and resurrection that enables us to turn and be healed and to enter into a growing relationship here on earth with You, but ultimately eternal life with You. Amen
A song to listen to: Saved My Soul