Posts Tagged ‘listening’

Quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger

May 25, 2017

James 1-19

In the Verse of the Day for May 25, 2017 we find further directives for Godly people:

James 1:19 (AMP)

Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];

In reflecting on this verse of the Day, I divided the instructions into three essential commands for believers and added a poem related to each topic.

Be quick to hear [a ready listener],

The first part of the verse in the Amplified Bible mentions hearing in light of being “a ready listener,” implying a difference between “hearing” and “listening” which are not synonymous. Hearing is perceiving sound waves that are received on the ear. On the other hand, listening involves interpreting and evaluating what is being said with intent to respond.  Hearing is passive, whereas listening should be active. Keith Davis comments, “Hearing is with the ears; listening is with the mind.”

This discussion also brings to mind that listening is an art that is perfected over time by conscious, consistent effort to improve, especially in a spiritual context as we learn to listen to God. As we continually place our ears near to the lips of God, we develop our proficiency in listening to hear the Master’s voice, as we practice in order to perfect this art:

The Art of Listening

God has something to say to you,

God has something to say.

Listen, Listen, Pay close attention.

God has something to say.

Children’s Song

     

The Lord GOD has given Me
the tongue of the learned,

That I should know how to speak
a word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.

The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
And I was not rebellious,
Nor did I turn away.

Isaiah 50:4-5

 

Listen, listen, and learn: hear with the inner ear.

Tune your ears to hear in the center of your heart.

Understand to listen is not same as to hear.

To listen intently and to learn is an art,

Practiced and perfected day by day.

As you hear and listen in the center of your heart,

I perform and bring to pass each word that I say.

In my unfolding Kingdom, you too have a part,

For to walk in love is the more excellent way.

Partake of my promises and consume my Word.

As precious as life-giving water, hold it dear

And do my will, proving all things that you have heard.

Listen intently and obey: Perfect this art.

Listen, listen, and learn: hear with the inner ear.

This message reinforces the Irish Proverb: “God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we ought to listen twice as much as we speak.”

Be slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words . . .]

Throughout the Scriptures believers are exhorted to be mindful of the words they speak.

Ephesians 4:29 in the Message Bible states:

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

We are encouraged not only to watch what goes into the mouth but watch what comes out of the mouth

Paul further reminds us: Let your words always be seasoned with salt that they may minister grace to the hearers.

We must be very concerned about the words that we speak since “life and death” is in the power of the tongue.

The Power of the Tongue

But the tongue can no man tame;

it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison

James 3:8

 

We know the tongue has power to generate life,

To produce seeds that will eventually take root

And will bring forth two very different kinds of fruit:

Love, joy and peace or envy, confusion and strife

Can build or destroy a brother, a friend, a wife.

With his hand, the helmsman easily turns great ships,

So we covenant to guard the gates of our lips,

For words can heal or pierce the heart as a sharp knife.

We desire life and long to see good all our days,

So we speak the truth and refrain from speaking lies.

Like Jesus, we want our tongue to speak what God says.

We seek to be wise but never in our own eyes.

Pressing toward the finish, the coming of God’s kingdom,

We seek not just a word but the spirit of wisdom.

Be slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];

This last section brings to mind encouragement to change. Where we once were quick to respond angrily or impulsively, we should now strive to become more patient, reflective and forgiving. This section of the verse causes us to recall that as we change our attitude, we can change our world. We can become “change agents” who by our very presence can impact where we interact with others. As agents of change we transform our environment; we give no offense and remove every stumbling block. We have salt in ourselves, and make peace with one another. All in all, we can make a difference as we follow

A Different Approach 

2 Corinthians 5:14-17                                 

Because of Christ’s undying love, we choose to love

Based on the love of God, not on what we can see.

Though blindsided by sin with a distorted view,

Through the lens of God’s love we now have a new creation reality.

We longer know Christ or anyone from a human viewpoint

And refuse to imprison others because of their last offense.

God in Christ forgave us each time we would fail or disappoint.

Each day provides one more fresh start, another day to commence:

The old life is gone; a new life has begun so that we

Can take a different approach: To love, see, and know differently.

Indeed, James 1:19 offers sound advice for us to heed, so aptly stated in the more familiar rendering in the King James Version:

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Taylor McCall offers a musical rendering of James 1:19-27 from which the Verse of the Day is taken.

 

Did you hear. . . Are you listening?

April 12, 2017

Instead of the usual Verse of the Day, the blog entry for April 12, 2017 is another “Quote of the Day” which in this case is based on two questions: “Did you hear what I said? Are you listening to me?” These two questions also bring to mind a related verse found in James 1:22 (NKJV):

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

The same verse was the basis for a previous blog entry entitled “Hearing vs. Listening: The Art of Listening” which is revised and re-posted here:

James 1:22 also brought to mind a number of thoughts regarding the distinction between hearing and listening, as I thought of a discussion on “listening” in a public speaking class that I teach.

In discussing the communication process, we noted the difference between “hearing” and “listening.” Indeed, hearing and listening are not synonymous. According to Stephen Lucas, hearing is “the process by which sound waves are received on the ear; it is the sense by which sound is perceived.” We hear the ambient sounds that surround us without really paying any attention to the fan on the computer or the air conditioning or the ticking of the clock.

On the other hand, listening is the act of interpreting and evaluating what is being said; it is an active activity that involves receiving, deciphering, and perceiving a message with intent to respond. Hearing is passive, whereas listening should be active. Keith Davis comments, “Hearing is with the ears; listening is with the mind.”

In Chinese calligraphy, the character for “listen” consists of pictures of the ear, the eye, and the heart, illustrated in this way:

The discussion regarding hearing and listening also brought to mind that listening is an art that is perfected over time by conscious, consistent effort to improve. This is especially true in a spiritual context whereby believers must learn to listen to God. We find that God is always speaking; indeed, God is never not speaking. As we continually place our ears near to the lips of God, we develop our proficiency in listening to hear the Master’s voice, as we practice in order to perfect this art:

The Art of Listening

God has something to say to you,
God has something to say.
Listen, Listen, Pay close attention.
God has something to say.

Children’s Song

The Lord GOD has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned.

The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
And I was not rebellious,
Nor did I turn away.

Isaiah 50:4-5

Listen, listen, children: hear with the inner ear.
Tune your ears to hear in the center of your heart.
I will whisper cherished secrets as you come near.
To listen intently and obey is an art,
Practiced and perfected day by day.
As you hide my Word in the center of your heart,
I perform and bring to pass each word that I say.
In my unfolding Kingdom, you too have a part,
For to walk in love is the more excellent way.
Partake of my promises and consume my Word.
As precious as life-giving water, hold it dear
And do my will, proving all things that you have heard.
Listen intently and obey: Perfect this art.
Listen, listen, children: hear with the inner ear.

Although I use this poem when I teach the section on listening in the oral communication classes that I teach, quite providentially, I wrote the poem years before I started teaching these classes. When when the poem was first read at a Bible study, someone pointed out that at the center of the piece is the word “heart” which encompasses hear, ear, and art, all of which reinforce the message, as illustrated in this way:

Without a doubt we must strive each day to become more proficient at developing the “art of listening.”

As we close, listen to the JumpStart3 contemporary Scripture Memory Song of James 1:22:

Listen to me: The art of listening

September 10, 2016

Isaiah 46--4

The Verse for the Day for September 10, 2016 provides great comfort and strength, as the Word of God speaks from Isaiah 46:4 in the Message Bible:

“Listen to me, family of Jacob, everyone that’s left of the family of Israel. I’ve been carrying you on my back from the day you were born, And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old. I’ll be there, bearing you when you’re old and gray. I’ve done it and will keep on doing it, carrying you on my back, saving you.

The opening phrase, “Listen to me,” brings to mind to mind a number of thoughts regarding the distinction between hearing and listening, as I recall a previous blog entry related pointing out the difference between “hearing” and “listening.” These two terms are not synonymous. Hearing is “the process by which sound waves are received on the ear; it is the sense by which sound is perceived.” We hear the ambient sounds that surround us without really paying any attention to the fan on the computer or the air conditioning or the ticking of the clock. On the other hand, listening is the act of interpreting and evaluating what is being said; it is an active activity that involves receiving, deciphering, and perceiving a message with intent to respond.  Hearing is passive, whereas listening should be active. Keith Davis comments, “Hearing is with the ears; listening is with the mind.”                                                                

In Chinese calligraphy, the character for “to listen” consists of pictures of the ear, the eye, and the heart, illustrated in this way:

to-listen

The discussion regarding hearing and listening also brings to mind that listening is an art that is perfected over time by conscious, consistent effort to improve. This is especially true in a spiritual context whereby believers must learn to listen to God. We find that God is always speaking; indeed, God is never not speaking. As we continually place our ears near to the lips of God, we develop our proficiency in listening to hear the Master’s voice, as we practice in order to perfect this art:

 The Art of Listening         

God has something to say to you,

 God has something to say.

 Listen, Listen, Pay close attention.  

 God has something to say.

 Children’s Song

 

The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of the learned,                                                                            That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned.

The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
And I was not rebellious,
Nor did I turn away.

Isaiah 50:4-5

 

Listen, listen, my son: hear with the inner ear.

Tune your ears to hear in the center of your heart.

I will whisper cherished secrets as you come near.

To listen intently and obey is an art,

Practiced and perfected day by day.

As you hide my Word in the center of your heart,

I perform and bring to pass each word that I say.

In my unfolding Kingdom, you too have a part,

For to walk in love is the more excellent way.

Partake of my promises and consume my Word.

As precious as life-giving water, hold it dear

And do my will, proving all things that you have heard.

Listen intently and obey: Perfect this art.

Listen, listen, my son: hear with the inner ear.

Although I use this poem when I teach the section on listening in the oral communication classes that I teach, quite providentially, I wrote the poem years before I started teaching these classes. When I first read the poem at a Bible study, someone pointed out that at the center of the piece is the word “heart” which encompasses hear, ear, and art, all of which reinforce the message, as illustrated in this remarkable way:

                                                                HEART

HEAR

EAR

ART

H*E*A*R*T

To conclude our discussion, we offer this musical selection by Twila Paris, “I will listen.”

 

Hearing vs. listening: The art of listening

August 2, 2013

The Verse of the Day for August 2, 2014 is found in James 1:22. The same verse was the basis for a previous blog entry which I have re-posted below with the addition of a contemporary Bible Memory Song from JumpStart3 based on that verse.

James 1 22

The Verse for the Day from James 1:22 brought to mind a number of thoughts regarding the distinction between hearing and listening, as I thought of a discussion on “listening” in the public speaking class that I am currently teaching.

In discussing the communication process, we noted the difference between “hearing” and “listening.” Hearing and listening are not synonymous. Hearing is “the process by which sound waves are received on the ear; it is the sense by which sound is perceived.” We hear the ambient sounds that surround us without really paying any attention to the fan on the computer or the air conditioning or the ticking of the clock. On the other hand, listening is the act of interpreting and evaluating what is being said; it is an active activity that involves receiving, deciphering, and perceiving a message with intent to respond.  Hearing is passive, whereas listening should be active. Keith Davis comments, “Hearing is with the ears; listening is with the mind.”

In Chinese calligraphy, the character for “listen” consists of pictures of the ear, the eye, and the heart, illustrated in this way:

listen

The discussion regarding hearing and listening also brought to mind that listening is an art that is perfected over time by conscious, consistent effort to improve. This is especially true in a spiritual context whereby believers must learn to listen to God. We find that God is always speaking; indeed, God is never not speaking. As we continually place our ears near to the lips of God, we develop our proficiency in listening to hear the Master’s voice, as we practice in order to perfect this art:

The Art of Listening         

God has something to say to you,

 God has something to say.

 Listen, Listen, Pay close attention.                                                                                                

 God has something to say.

 Children’s Song

 

The Lord GOD has given Me

 The tongue of the learned,

 That I should know how to speak

A word in season to him who is weary. 

He awakens Me morning by morning,

He awakens My ear

To hear as the learned.

 

The Lord GOD has opened My ear;

And I was not rebellious,

Nor did I turn away.

Isaiah 50:4-5

 

Listen, listen, my son: hear with the inner ear.

Tune your ears to hear in the center of your heart.

I will whisper cherished secrets as you come near.

To listen intently and obey is an art,

Practiced and perfected day by day.

As you hide my Word in the center of your heart,

I perform and bring to pass each word that I say.

In my unfolding Kingdom, you too have a part,

For to walk in love is the more excellent way.

Partake of my promises and consume my Word.

As precious as life-giving water, hold it dear

And do my will, proving all things that you have heard.

Listen intently and obey: Perfect this art.

Listen, listen, my son: hear with the inner ear.

Although I use this poem when I teach the section on listening in the oral communication classes that I teach, quite providentially,  I wrote the poem years before I started teaching these classes. When I first read the poem at a Bible study, someone pointed out that at the center of the piece is the word “heart” which encompasses hear, ear, and art, all of which reinforce the message, as illustrated in this way:

Hear with the heart

Without a doubt we must strive each day to become more proficient at developing the “art of listening.”

Listen to a contemporary Scripture Memory Song of James 1:22 offered by JumpStart3:

 

The Art of Listening

January 6, 2012

Without question, there is a difference between "hearing" and "listening." Ask any parent, including God, the ultimate Father.

Recently while teaching an oral communication class, I recognized the application of the principles of “listening” in a spiritual context. Part of the discussion centered on “hearing” vs. “listening,” which are not synonymous. According to author Hamilton Gregory, hearing is the process by which sound waves are received on the ear; the sense by which sound is perceived. Hearing is passive. In contrast, listening should be active. “Hearing is with the ears; listening is with the mind,” says Keith Davis.

Listening is defined as the act of interpreting and evaluating what is being said. Author and coach George Hendley, notes that research has shown we spend 70-85% of our business day communicating in one form or another.  Out of that time we usually spend 45% listening; 30% speaking; 16% reading and 9% writing.  Most people believe that they are good listeners. Hendley points out that one of the biggest challenges with listening is the illusion that it is being accomplished, but unfortunately most of us listen at only 25% of our potential.

An interesting piece of information regarding listening is found with Chinese calligraphy and the characters for the verb “to listen” which consists of pictures of the ear, the eye, and the heart.

In Chinese calligraphy the verb "to listen" involves more than just the ear but the eyes and most importantly, the heart.

As Christian believers we are very much concerned about hearing the voice of God and listening to hear what He has to say to us, both by the revealed Word of God or the Bible and by our personal relationship God via the Holy Spirit whereby we commune with God. We place our ears near to the lips of God and listen attentively as He speaks. Our desire is to perfect the art of listening when it comes to God. An art involves performing something over and over until you master whatever you are attempting to do. You practice until you excel to become an “artist” in whatever area you choose to develop. I poetically express my personal desire for more intimate communication with God and see God’s desire that I perfect “the art of listening” in this way:

The Art of Listening                           

God has something to say to you,

 God has something to say.

 Listen, Listen, Pay close attention.

 God has something to say.

                     Children’s Song

 

      The Lord GOD has given Me
   The tongue of the learned,

   That I should know how to speak
   A word in season to him who is weary.
   He awakens Me morning by morning,
   He awakens My ear
   To hear as the learned.


   The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
   And I was not rebellious,
   Nor did I turn away.

                        Isaiah 50:4-5

                                   

Listen, listen, my son: hear with the inner ear.

Tune your ears to hear in the center of your heart.

I will whisper cherished secrets as you come near.

To listen intently and obey is an art,

Practiced and perfected day by day.

As you hide my Word in the center of your heart,

I perform and bring to pass each word that I say.

In my unfolding Kingdom, you too have a part,

For to walk in love is the more excellent way.

Partake of my promises and consume my Word.

As precious as life-giving water, hold it dear

And do my will, proving all things that you have heard.

Listen intently and obey: Perfect this art.

Listen, listen, my son: hear with the inner ear.

 

After completing the poem, I wrote the word “heart” on the board and asked what is in the center. The response was “ear” and then someone pointed out that the first four letters of heart is the word “hear.” Someone also pointed out that “heart” ends with the word “art,” indicating that when consistently hear with the inner ear of your heart, the end is an art. What an incredible epiphany at about 9 o’clock in the morning! Click on the following to see what I mean.

HEART

To read other articles related to the “art of listening” click below:

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-20264-Columbus-Christian-Spirituality-Examiner~y2009m11d25-National-day-of-listening-and-the-art-of-listening

http://www.georgehendleypresents.com/general/articles.html

Inspired by I Samuel 3:9 “Speak, Lord. I am your servant and I am listening,”  this moving song makes a request: “Speak, Lord, Thy Servant Hears” in the following YouTube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWuXTQDNKwE