“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” – Matthew 11:15 NASB
What is the biggest problem teens have with their parents? A recent survey asked this question to more than 1,000 teenagers. In many ways, these teens were complimentary. They felt that, in general, adults were doing a good job helping them find jobs, providing education, and other subjects. But, in particular, teens felt that adults were poor listeners.
The inability to listen can have a devastating impact on the relationship between parents and teens. Indeed, listening is vital for marriages, families, churches, businesses, and every other relationship.
But the fact is that true listening requires effort. If we want to be good listeners, there are many obstacles to overcome. Our minds can wander, and be filled with distracting thoughts. We might be preoccupied and fail to concentrate on the person speaking to us.
Jesus knew how important it was to listen and often ended a teaching by saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” He wanted to make sure that His followers did not just take in the words, but really heard what was said. He wanted them to pay close attention.
After a recent meeting between two world leaders, one commented that the other had not listened. “I was speaking and he was looking at one of the walls, admiring the frescos and the paintings. He was not listening to me.” How frustrating and counterproductive!
How often has this happened to us? How many wives wish their husbands listened to them? How many teens wish their parents truly listened to them? And how much does God wish that we listen to Him with ears to hear?
In your life, seek to become a better listener, not just in your interaction with others, but particularly with God. Remember that He often speaks in “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). Make sure that you are listening!
PrayerFather, give me ears to hear. Help me to hear Your voice when You speak to me. And help me to be a better listener to the people I work and live with. Thank You. In Jesus name. Amen.
Extended ReadingMatthew 11