James 1:19: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Cats have excellent hearing. In comparison, human ears are not as well-equipped. While cats hear sounds about as low as humans, they can hear much higher pitches than we can, and their range goes even above that of dogs.

Even if we had catlike ears, the question is, would we take advantage of our enhanced hearing? Here is another question for you: How easy is it to listen? The talkers among us will probably say it’s easier to talk than to listen. But what about people who don’t like to talk? Do introverts have an advantage over extroverts when it comes to listening? Perhaps – but keeping silent doesn’t necessarily mean a person keeps listening.

I googled synonyms for the word “listen”, and here goes:

Give one’s attention to a sound, pay attention to, take heed of, heed, take notice of, take note of, mind, mark, bear in mind, take into consideration, take into account, tune into

God speaks. We know that He speaks when we seek Him out; and when our heart is open, we will receive His input. His Spirit speaks to human beings all around the world. We can drown out the Lord’s voice with our own, but we are losing our soul if we do.

Listeners promote peace. When we learn to listen to God’s voice I believe this also upgrades our listening skills in general; and listening to what others have to say, we grow a better understanding of other people. In a world that’s deeply divided with angry voices competing for our attention, listeners don’t join the angry choir but lend an unbiased ear. As a result, listeners have a far better reception when it is their turn to speak up. Paying attention always pays off.