How To Improve Listening Skills

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2023-01-19.


BIBLE TEXT: 18 I hope you’re still listening. And I hope you’re listening carefully. If you get what I’m saying, you’ll get more. If you miss My meaning, even the understanding you think you have will be taken from you.

APPLICATION: There are some phrases that various individuals tend to use, to make sure we hear – truly hear, what they are saying to us. ‘Hey, are you listening?’; ‘Listen to me now!’; ‘Don’t tune me out now!’; ‘If you were truly listening, you would know what I said!’; etc…. I bet you can add to that list, for like me, you have been to many classes where it was challenging to stop your minds from wandering and truly listen to the speaker. Perhaps you might tune out some lessons, because you believe that you knew exactly what is about to be taught. You’ve heard that same sermon over and repeatedly! In the case of our Bible verse today, Jesus had just taught the parable of ‘the seed’, and the parable of the ‘lamp light’. He wanted to make sure that His disciples were not just there in person, but that they heard His message loud and clear, and they understood its meaning. Having taught Sunday School a number of years, I wonder how many responses I would have gotten after each lesson, if I had asked for recaps or highlights on what I just taught! Even more challenging would be for me to try and recap what was just taught or preached by my pastor or Sunday School teacher! For those who suffer similarly and would like to take the instructions of Jesus to heart, here are some things that I believe could help with our listening skills:
=> When studying the Bible – turn off, disable, or turn over devices so that you are not distracted. Jesus said that we should go into our closet to pray – try finding a place and/or time to do the same with Bible meditations without distraction.
=> When attending Sunday School or a work-related seminar – prepare ahead for the subject being taught or discussed. This might include any homework assignments, which might include reading the material being taught. Highlight items that peaked your attention. Ask questions about items you didn’t fully understand or add input if the teacher gives opportunity.
=> Sit near the front of the class – It is much easier to stay alert to what is being taught if you sit closest to the front of the class. Notice the misbehavior that normally comes from the back of the class?
=> To better understand, repeat what you thought you heard – If you need clarification on something that was said, the chances are that others also need the same. Often if you miss one word, you may have misunderstood the whole meaning. If the teacher detects the slightest question in you repeating a fact, they will find a different way of explaining to make sure you fully understand.
=> To listen better in a church service – Save your questions to ask the pastor after the service. Pastors are elated to hear questions from the congregation, as it reassures him that you were listening and trying to understand what was said.
=> Make notes of things that stand out to you – This is often the method used by God to get your attention. Your understanding is enhanced when you listen closely, seeing key points in print on a screen, if offered by your pastor, and also, by writing, or taking digital notes of the key points. This will help you remember what was said, it allows you to adlib any comments you might add to the points, and it gives you a record that you can refer back to, should you ever need to reference them again.
=> Be rested – For each of the above items, it is vitally important that you are well rested and determined in your own mind to take away as much as you can from the sermon, lesson or seminar. You know well in advance that you will have church or Sunday School the next day. Get lots of rest so that you will listen without the distraction or tiredness or being sleepy.
None of us would ever choose something that would waste our time. But if you attend a church service or any other learning opportunity, and you walk away without having added to your knowledge, then you may have just wasted your time. Be deliberate in your learning and never assume that you know everything about a subject being shared in you class or church service. Just as the Word of God is filled with new knowledge, inspiring and contain encouraging words from the Master, He may also choose to share these things through a pastor, teacher, elder or friend. I hope you are listening, were the words of Jesus. We must make sure that we are – with His help, especially considering our limited understanding of every subject, and our need to hear from God each day.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: We can be present, able to hear, yet not hear everything that God wants us to hear. Jesus wanted satisfaction that His words were understood and not falling on deaf ears. Pastors would be overjoyed in being reassured of the same thing as Jesus. We must ensure that we are still listening, and hearing the full message being given.

PRAYER: Lord, it seems so hard to relax our brains long enough to hear one more sermon, or one more Bible teaching. But I believe that the lesson You have in store for us today was intended for us in this particular time and place. ‘Open our ears that we may hear‘. Lord, we need to hear the truth of Your Word without any distraction or confusion. We need to hear from You, Lord, for You are Truth, and You hold the keys to our future here on earth and even into eternity. Thank You Lord for accepting me as Your child. As my readers and listeners seek Your face today, may we all hear Your voice loud and clear and be ready to accept all that You have in store for us. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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