Ask my good friends. Even better, ask my family. They will all admit that I am a really bad listener. I tune people out. I start doing something else. Sometimes I think I already know what is going to be said. I have a self-admitted problem. I may hear you, but often, I don't really listen. Now that we all know the deep, dark secret---the question is, what do I do about it? How does one really listen? Specifically, I am speaking about listening to God, but this can also cross over to listening to others as well.
Regressing back for a minute, every year I pray and search Scripture to see what ONE WORD I believe God wants to show/teach me as the underlying theme of the year. In 2010, it was WAIT. In 2011, it was ABIDE. In 2012, it was HEAR. Each year, there was true meaning in what the Lord was teaching me through that single word and Bible verses surrounding it.
So over the last 2 weeks, I have been seaching Scripture and praying asking the Lord what He wants to teach me. I keep coming back to the word LISTEN.
Gen 27:8 Now my son listen carefully and do what I tell you.
Deut 30:20 Love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.
Isaiah 28:23 Listen and hear my voice, pay attention and hear what I say.
Proverbs 8:32-33 Now then my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.
Luke 8:18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.
John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
So in 2013, I commit to really trying to LISTEN to what God has to tell me. And then doing it like James 1:22 says. And also trying to truly LISTEN to others. Especially when they know more than me and are speaking truth into my life.
So, please forgive me if in the past I haven't given you my undivided attention. With God's help, I will be a better listener in 2013.