How to Listen
College students constantly find themselves listening - in chapel, in class, in prayer group, and in church services. Last semester, Pastor Denis McBride preached a challenging chapel message about our relationship and walk with God. As God reminded me of what I had heard over the next several days, I was so glad that I had listened to the message Pastor McBride had brought.
Here are several things I have been taught about how to be a good listener:
- Be a prepared listener.
Be ready for the start of the sermon or lesson. Put aside physical distractions as well as things that are on your mind.
- Be an engaged listener.
Actively listen to each word that the speaker says. A good speaker has spent much time preparing his words, and we ought to listen attentively. In class, take notes that will help you remember what was discussed.
If it is a sermon that you are listening to, listen for key words and phrases that remind you of Bible truths found places other than the text, and cross-reference as you listen. God has brought many things to my attention in this way!
- Be a Spirit-filled listener.
Before and during a sermon, ask the Holy Spirit to point out to you what He would have you hear. Ask Him specifically to convict you of areas where you could improve. In class, apply the truths you hear to your life and future work, asking the Holy Spirit to help you retain knowledge that you will someday need.
And lastly, remember that listening is in vain if the truth we hear does not change our hearts and lives. Truth dormant in the mind does nothing, but when we act on truth, we can be a powerful force for good.0