It’s easy to forget that good communication involves not just what we say, but perhaps even more importantly, how well we listen! Here is a good reminder by John Blasé that challenged me to improve my listening. Maybe it will help you too.
Our Daily Bread - February 3, 2019 - Ears Were Made for Listening
Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear. Jeremiah 5:21
READ JEREMIAH 5:18–23
Actress Diane Kruger was offered a role that would make her a household name. But it required her to play a young wife and mother experiencing the loss of her husband and child, and she had never personally suffered loss to such a degree. She didn’t know if she could be believable. But she accepted, and in order to prepare, she began attending support meetings for people walking through the valley of extreme grief.
Initially she offered suggestions and thoughts when those in the group shared their stories. She, like most of us, wanted to be helpful. But gradually she stopped talking, and simply started listening. It was only then she began truly learning to walk a mile in their shoes. And her realization came by using her ears.
Jeremiah’s indictment against the people was that they refused to use their “ears” to hear the Lord’s voice. The prophet did not mince words, calling them “foolish and senseless people” (Jeremiah 5:21). God is constantly at work in our lives communicating words of love, instruction, encouragement, and caution. The Father’s desire is that you and I learn and mature, and we have each been given the tools, such as ears, to do so. The question then is, will we use them to hear the heart of our Father? By John Blasé
REFLECT & PRAY
Our ears can help us mature in our faith, if we’ll listen.
Father, I believe You are always speaking. Forgive my stubborn tendency to think I have all the answers. Open my ears that I may hear.
The metaphor of eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear (Jeremiah 5:21) is used in Scripture to describe spiritual dullness. In Moses’s final words to Israel, he said, “The LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear” (Deuteronomy 29:4). John uses the phrase “Whoever has ears” repeatedly in Revelation (2:11, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). Three of the gospels record Jesus’s parable of the sower, where He says, “Whoever has ears [to hear], let them hear” (Matthew 13:9; Mark 4:9; Luke 8:8). Jesus told His disciples, “Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear” (Matthew 13:16). The disciples often didn’t understand their Teacher, but they regularly turned to Him for insight. In Matthew 15:15, for instance, Peter asks Christ to explain a parable to them. Seeking God for guidance is integral to having ears to hear and eyes to see. Tim Gustafson