Professor Richard Wisemen set up a website where users could submit jokes and then rate the funniest one. The winning joke goes like this:
"A couple of hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be breathing, and his eyes are rolled back in his head. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls emergency services. He gasps to the operator, “My friend is dead. What can I do?” The operator says, “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy’s voice comes back on the line. He says, “OK, now what?”
Do you ever feel like you clearly communicated something only to discover your audience had a different interpretation? The story is told of a general at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, who was out golfing with his aide-de-camp. The general struck the ball and it hit a tree. Rather than admit his mishit, he complained about the exasperating location of that tree. The next day, he had to explain to the golf shop why his aide, without authorization, cut the tree down.
Proverbs 5:11-14—At the end of your life, you will lament when your physical body has been consumed, and you will say, “How I hated discipline, and how my heart despised correction. I didn’t obey my teachers or listen closely to my mentors. I am on the verge of complete ruin before the entire community.
Jesus talked to His countrymen in John 8:30 about the truth setting them free. Not understanding that He was speaking of spiritual freedom, they were offended and claimed never to have been enslaved to anyone, so how can You say, “You will become free?” (8:33) After a somewhat heated discussion, Jesus rhetorically asked them, “Why don’t you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to My word” (8:43).
None of us want to arrive at the end of our life only to lament that we did not listen to those who tried to enlighten us. Listening requires humility. It calls for focusing on what the speaker is saying and letting go of our selfish agendas. There are many mistakes we could avoid and many successes we could achieve if we would but listen! Don’t shoot the other hunter. Don’t cut down the tree. Don’t hate discipline or despise correction. Do listen to what God and those He has placed in your life have to say; something to think about . . . in reveration.
Hearing is the reception of sound; listening is the attachment of meaning.—John A. Kline in Listening Effectively
©2016 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)