Bible Verse: Proverbs 8:33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
An ignored instruction could be the difference between success or failure. To give yourself the best chance of success, become skilled at listening to instructions.
When you’re told, “Listen!” by someone, most often you think, “I need to hear this.” Listen to your teacher’s instructions; listen to your parents’ rules; listen to the information your friend is sharing. But listening is so much more than hearing. It’s what happens when we not only open our ears, but also open our minds – and sometimes our hearts – to another person.
Good listening isn’t something that we should limit to authority figures. It’s something you can do with everyone you encounter: your friends, your family, significant others, new people in your life – and even yourself. Effective listening offers you many benefits, and encourages the speaker to feel valued as well. A good place to start on your way to becoming a better listener is to think about the difference between listening and hearing. Hearing is a sense – it happens when sound hits our ears and involves the processing of sound in the brain. I hear a truck outside my window. I hear my husband’s footsteps in the kitchen. Hearing is a passive physical process. In this sense, saying “I hear” is almost too generous, since it describes hearing as an action I perform. It’s not something that I “do,” it’s simply that sound is heard by my ears and, to some extent, by my brain. Listening, on the other hand, is an action we consciously take. When we listen, we go beyond simply hearing words by giving our attention to what is being said.
In 2 Chronicles 35, King Josiah failed to listen to an instruction and paid a heavy price. God instructed Necho, King of Egypt to go and fight against Charchemish. Although no hostility was directed at him or his people, King Josiah went out against King Necho. He was instructed by the King of Egypt, not to meddle in the matter as his planned actions were a directive from God and getting involved could result in his demise. Nevertheless, King Josiah refused to listen and disguised himself to join in the battle only to find himself shot by archers. He died because he refused to listen to instructions and wise counsel.
Life Application: Every instruction does not carry the same level of importance; get good at discerning the difference in instructions.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to not only hear, but listen as well. Allow me to consciously listen to your instructions and wise counsel. Teach me how to listen. In Jesus name, amen.