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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hear (07/08/10)

TITLE: The Art of Listening
By Joy Bach


Listening is more than just hearing words. Those words need to register and take on meaning. A basic human need is to understand and be understood. Good listening skills will help in that process.

Apparently Jesus knew that you could hear the words, but not really listen.

In Matthew 11:15 – He said, “Are you listening to me? Really listening?”
Mark 4:9 – “Are you listening to this? Really listening?”
Mark 4:23 – “Are you listening to this? Really listening?”

It seemed important to Him that we really listen.

Every day … all day … our ears are bombarded with sounds. Most of the time we don’t even hear them.

Did you know that the birds in your back yard can give you information? They will tell you when they are happy, when they are mad, and even when a cat has entered the yard. Have you ever heard the birds in your yard?

Or maybe it’s the television you’ve never really listened to. Do you hear the words coming out of that box? Listen with different ears this next week. You just might be surprised.

Maybe it’s your children or grandchildren that you just really don’t listen to. Are you busy reading the paper or watching television when they are trying to tell you something that is important to them? See if you can hear what really matters to them.

Here is a little “Listening Test”. Carefully read ALL parts of following test before doing anything.

1. Write today’s date (month, day, and year) in the top right hand corner of a piece of paper.

2. Write the answer to the following multiplication problem directly underneath the date on your paper: 6 x 5 = ?

3. In the lower right hand corner of your paper, draw a rectangle.

4. Directly above your answer to #3, draw a row of three small circles.

5. Hold your right hand up in the air for three seconds.

6. Scratch your head.

7. Now that you have carefully read all parts of the test, don’t do anything but sit quietly.

Do you remember what my instructions were? “Carefully read ALL parts of the test before doing anything”.

How well do you think you listen? I did not ask “How well do you hear?”

Hearing is not the same as listening. Hearing is merely one step in the process. Listening involves receiving, organizing, interpreting, and responding to the information that is heard. Sometimes we need to listen with our heart.

When you are truly listening, then you are willing to try and understand the other person’s point of view. That shows genuine respect for the opinions of others. Active listening reduces certain kinds of communication breakdowns, stimulates communication, promotes positive feelings of self-worth and helps people better understand each other.

A person who likes to listen acts like a good listener. They focus their eyes on the person who is doing the talking. They are attentive and lean forward, responding with facial expressions to show they are enjoying what they are hearing.

In Psalms 116:1-2, it says: “He bends down and listens”. That means GOD LEANS FORWARD TO LISTEN TO US!!!! That is a sign of a good listener.

In every communication, there is a sender and a receiver. The problem is too many people are sending and too few are receiving.

Psalm 116:1-2 in the “Message” Bible says……God listens INTENTLY as we pour out our hearts to Him. Should we do any less for others?

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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Member Comments
Member Date
Theresa Santy 07/15/10
How refreshing it is to see a non-fiction piece in this challenge! I especially loved the listening test.

You made some very good points and you brought up an important issue--the importance of listening--which was a welcome reminder.

I agree that one can hear and not listen, and that this happens often, but I'd also like to add that sometimes: One can listen, with the intention of perceiving, but still not hear.
Connie Dixon07/19/10
Lots of good lessons here, especially learning how to be a good listener. That's pretty much a lost art these days.