In One Ear and Out the Other

I sat at my desk thinking about the workshop I missed yesterday and whether I should take the time to listen to the replay. I thought about my copious notebooks filled with notes from all the online banquet of presentations and workshops I have listened to and participated in over the past several years. How much from those notes had stuck with me? The Spirit nudged the words “in one ear and out the other.” This was to be my topic for today’s blog.

How do we get concepts, ideas, examples, and lessons to stick? What does the Bible teach us about this?

Don’t just listen to the Word of Truth and not respond to it, for that is the essence of self-deception. So always let his Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life!

James (Jacob)‬ ‭1:22‬ ‭TPT‬‬

I had to use this translation when it talked about poetry, but the version in my head spoke of the difference between being a hearer and a doer. Of course, James is talking about the Word of God, but the principles work for the mundane as well. When I think about the best teachers I’ve had, or how I learn, it’s when I apply a lesson that I better gain understanding. Doing, or repetition, helps cement the lesson. I get a feel for what it’s like to live in this new reality.

Here’s another verse:

Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!

Matthew‬ ‭13:18-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We can hear something, believe it’s good, and still lose it. Like my note taking. I can write down all those tidbits of information I think will be important to remember, yet, if I don’t apply it right away, if I don’t develop a working understanding, it remains just words on a page.

Another thing to note about the parable of the sower is the state of the soil. If I am not prepared to apply the lesson I’m listening to, it becomes like an echo fading to the background.

So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.

Luke‬ ‭8:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

If I’m not prepared to listen, if I’m just checking off a scheduled workshop because it was included in my purchase, I’m not going to benefit from what’s being taught in that moment. But….

Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

Luke‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭NLT‬‬

…if I’m ready to put it into practice, then I can learn – harvesting the fruit that is offered – and becoming fruitful in turn.

With so much information available to us, we can easily be overwhelmed. Give yourself a moment to gauge where God has prepared the soil for you to receive and engage. Let the rest go.

I hear the Lord saying, “I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make me tug you and pull you along. Just come with me!”

Psalms‬ ‭32:8-9‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Grace & Peace,


Photo from Canva

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