I believe most people are terrible listeners. The words move across our eardrums with no issues, but they rarely penetrate our brain. Very few words then make it from our mind to our heart.
There are lots of reasons for this ranging from the distractions brought on by technology, our overloaded lifestyles, and go clear to personal issues that I am processing internally. We all have a long list of excuses that prevent us from truly listening to what others are saying to us.
There is a small amount of comfort in knowing this is not a new problem. Jesus sends a series of letters to seven Churches scattered across Asia Minor in the book of Revelation. When the words of the letters are read aloud, there follows this interesting statement, “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
The phrasing is unique as it says, “whoever has ears,” because almost every single person has ears. But the words have to be taken at more than face value. It is not a matter of whether or not we have these silly-looking pieces of cartilage on the side of our head. It is about whether we let the words penetrate the ear, into the brain and down into our heart and soul. The question is more directly stated, “Will you listen to what was said and allow it to change your actions?”
These words do not just apply to the Churches of Revelation, but also to every follower of Jesus scattered across time. Will we listen to his word? Will we focus in on what he is telling us? Then will we allow it to direct our actions?
The problem with our faith is not a lack of communication from God; it is more of a listening problem.