Welcome to a brand new month, a brand new year. We are so excited about what’s to come and we sincerely hope that you join us.

Over the coming weeks (or however long the Lord wants us to) we will be looking at Communication. We all communicate each and every day of our lives but do we know how to communicate effectively.

Today, we want to focus on hearing and listening. It’s been claimed that hearing and listening are the same but from doing research, they are not the same. In fact, they are totally different.

Hearing: Hearing is the faculty of perceiving sounds

Listening: Listening is giving one’s attention to a sound. It’s also to take notice of and act on what someone says.

So, let’s break this down. A person can be in a classroom, he can hear the teacher talking, he is looking at her but when asked to repeat it back, he forgets. This shows that this person wasn’t listening because if he was listening, he would repeat back what was said or do what he was instructed to do.

Let’s look at the bible and see what it says.

Proverbs 16:20 – Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord

James 1:19 – My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

James 1:22 – Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says

From these passages, we can see that it’s wise to hear what someone says but it’s wiser to listen to what someone says and then do what’s asked of you. We also know that when you listen well and carry out what has been asked of you, that is what God delights in. He delights in an obedient person.

However, sometimes this does not happen. We can go through the day hearing but not listening and that itself can be very dangerous. There can be various distractions and noise which will take our focus and as a result, we miss what was said. This is one of the reasons why whenever God wants to talk to you or get your attention he will do it when you are alone.

A prime example of that is when God called Samuel. Samuel was lying down when God called him and so within that, he had Samuel’s full attention.

Remember, Hearing is just a way of perceiving the sound whilst Listening is the ability to give one’s attention to the sound.

Do you listen to what everyone tells you?