Christmastime Day Nine
January 3, 2019
By Elaine Friedrich
Written by Matthew Driggers
Putting God’s Word into Practice – Listening Well
16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.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.”
19 Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. 20 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.”
21 He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” Luke 8:16:2
Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). It’s a phrase that gets quoted often, especially at Christmas time. Talking about lamps and light was quite common for Jesus. In Luke 8:16, we see a parable in which Jesus says that “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.”
One of the basics of good communication is the ability to listen. Good listeners have the ability to listen reflectively. Reflective listening entails absorbing the words, facial expressions, and emotions of the speaker, then relaying to the speaker what they are saying, thinking, and feeling. This type of listening requires more than parroting back phrases. It requires focus, dedication, and the engagement of one’s whole being. Reflective listening is an active sport. When you listen accurately to another person, you understand more fully and can therefore respond appropriately.
The idea of reflective listening isn’t just about communication with others. It is a fundamental tenant of the Christian life. One of the most poignant parts of the parable in Luke 8 is the emphasis on hearing. In verse 18 Jesus says, “Take care then how you hear.” Note, what is important to Jesus – how you hear. The way you listen is more important that than what you say. The way you listen will dictate the way you respond.
In the busyness of this season as we begin a New Year, where can you find time to listen to what God is doing? Do you read His Word or do you hear what it says? To be a light in this world, we must first take the time to hear with our whole being. When we listen and hear well, we can’t help but respond. When we take the time to hear, the natural response is a Christian life that flows rather than one that is forced.