“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen.” (Luke 8:17-18)
Listening is so important in the spiritual life. But, unfortunately, it is a bit of a lost art. That’s probably because, in our day and age, silence and solitude have been replaced by noise and hurry and busyness. Listening requires time and space. It requires stillness and silence and solitude. How can we ever hope to hear anything from God if we never stop, shut up, and pay attention to him?
The reason listening is so important is because how we listen and what we hear have so much bearing on what we believe and how we live. What we truly believe determines how we act; and who and what we listen to almost always determines what we really believe. Living falsely is almost always the result of believing things that are not true.
Thus, if we are really listening, then things will be disclosed, made know, and brought out into the open, no matter how hard we try to deny or escape them. No matter how hard we try to hide and conceal them. Listening is the place where we open ourselves up to the voice of God—the voice of truth. And abiding in his truth is how we are set free.
So many voices, Lord, so many voices—both around and within. It gets really confusing. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who is really telling me the truth; and even harder to tell where I have come to believe things that are just not true. Help me, O Lord, to listen to your voice. Help me to pay careful attention to how I listen to you, so that I can know the truth that will set me free. Amen.