The well-known parable in the Bible – the ‘Parable of the Sower’ (Luke 8:1-15, also Matt. 13:2-23; Mark 4:1-20) suggests to me there is listening that is successful, and listening that is … not. I can’t always control what I hear, but I do control how successfully I live with what I’ve heard.
Luke says “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (chapter 8:15)
So to be a successful listener we need:
- to be honest with ourselves (good heart).
- to really “hear” the words we should contemplate the ideas and consider their meaning;
- to “retain” the message which I think means to hang on to the real meaning and think about it more than once;
- to persevere and persevere and hang on and hang on… and to make a real effort to apply the meaning of the message to our lives and live accordingly. Perhaps that will mean forgiving someone, or giving to someone, or apologising, or accepting something new or …
FEBC broadcasts are within the listening reach of approximately 2/3 of the world’s population! Please pray that there will be more and more “successful listening”.