Engage

Listen up!

Listen up! Pay attention, look at me…speak a little louder. I can’t hear you. What did you say? Huh? Hey, what did you say? I can’t believe you said that… did I hear you correctly? Pardon me. What? Please say it one more time…again?

Listen up! Pay attention, look at me…speak a little louder. I can’t hear you. What did you say? Huh? Hey, what did you say? I can’t believe you said that… did I hear you correctly? Pardon me. What? Please say it one more time…again?

 If I have told you once, I have told you a thousand times- pay attention when someone is talking to you. Look at them. Listen. You might learn something. Please, listen – what I have to tell you is very important. You must take this seriously.

Do any of these resonate? Phrases we have heard many times and most likely have used before.

Being heard is very important. Listening to others is critical. Listening is a skill with tentacles that reach into every facet of life. If you listen there are benefits. If you don’t listen you may reap consequences. Still worse if you lose your hearing your ability to communicate is impaired simply because you cannot hear. Hearing and listening are tantamount to successful living. The scripture warns, if you have ears to hear employ them. The writer of Proverbs tells us, “He who answers before listening – that is his folly and his shame.”

The book of James states clearly – “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…Do not merely listen to the word… do what is says.” [James 1:19,22] There is a connection between listening and an integrative life style.  It is not enough to simply hear. There is a reason we are told to listen and to absorb the message so strongly that it becomes a part of the way we operate. It becomes a badge of ownership. Listening is determinative to sheep-hood.

Jesus says,  “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” [John 10:27]

Cultivating the habit of listening is a good idea. Cultivating the habit of listening to the  Shepherd  is a very good idea. It is life giving. It is imperative for your soul, for my soul, for our souls.

“Every time you listen with great attentiveness to the voice who calls you beloved, you will discover within yourself a desire to hear that voice longer and more deeply.”
                            Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved

This will be the voice you will respond to – yes, say it again. Oh, please say it again. And, please say it long and loud and clear. This is the voice you will never, ever tire of hearing – the voice of your Shepherd, the voice of my shepherd.

Listen up!
 

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Gail Seidel

Gail Seidel served as Mentor Advisor for Spiritual Formation in the Department of Spiritual Formation and Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and as an Adjunct Professor in the D Min in Spiritual Formation in the D Min Department at Dallas Theological Seminary. She has a BA in English from the University of Texas, a Masters in Christian Education from Dallas Seminary and a D Min in Spiritual Formation from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She is a contributor to the textbook, Foundations of Spiritual Formation, Kregel Academic. She served as co-director for Christian Women in Partnership Russia with Entrust, an international church leadership-training mission. She and her husband Andy live in Fredericksburg, Texas. They have 2 married children and 6 wonderful grandchildren--Kami, Kourtney, Katie, Mallory, Grayson, and Avery.