I went to college and graduated with a Bachelors’ degree in Speech. Reflecting back, I find it curious that there is no such thing as a degree in listening.
It seems like the whole world is communicating, but hardly anybody is listening. Yet, God made our bodies with two ears and one mouth, which seems to indicate that we should listen twice as much as we speak.
As we are studying John together, something keeps happening. Jesus is teaching, and hardly anyone is listening. Instead they are ignoring Him, critiquing Him, interrogating Him, interrupting Him, or attacking Him. God came to earth and walked around to teach people for free, but rather than taking notes we started picking fights. In the middle of one lesson here’s what we read in John 7:20, “The crowd answered, “You have a demon!”
There are three things to note about Jesus’ teaching the unteachable:
- You can never learn if you are only and always the teacher. If you never sit in the position of student willing to be wrong and take notes you can never learn.
- Listening is following. You cannot follow Jesus, or anyone else, if you don’t listen to them.
- We use words to either connect with someone, or control someone. Non-relational people use words to control the conversation and control the person with whom they are communicating. This happens over and over with Jesus. He is trying to speak with people so that He can connect with them. Some of those people do not want to connect and so they come to hijack the conversation by attacking him so that they can control the narrative.
How about you? How is your listening to God and others going?