The question of listening well is reverberating over social media. Are we listening well? We hear words, but are we accurately responding to the intent of the words? The nuance of the way a word was spoken. The emotional undertone of the way a word was uttered. Eye contact and sensitivity to body language while listening. Mirroring the words back in order to clarify the intent of the message. These techniques and more make up good listening skills. In today's hurried and hectic culture we rarely sit and have a conversation. We hardly even speak on the phone now adays. We sent an email, or more than likely, a text. It's hard to listen via text. For many of us, good listening skills and the action of hearing or reading words aren't differentiated as two separate things. We miss so much more than we imagine because we are just reading or hearing. We aren't seeing, listening and responding to the heart of the speaker. Apparently, this is not a new problem. It is true for Jesus as well. We find Him asking the questions 'Are you listening? Do you really hear what I'm saying?" over and over again. Matthew 11:15 MSG "Are you listening to me? Really listening?" Matthew 13:9 MSG "Are you listening to this? Really listening?” There are many more instances of these same questions being asked by Jesus later on in Matthew and throughout Mark, again in Luke and then some more in John. It's an old problem, true, but with an encouraging message. We can listen well. Listen. Listen well. Make sure you understand the message. Ask questions. Be empathetic and encouraging. Look closely. Be intentional. Be generous. Listen with your heart, not just with your ears. Listen well.