All of us in the Mastermind Alliance have been working through the MasterKeys one week at a time and we have all read each of the scrolls from Og Mandino’s Greatest Salesman between 80 and 90 times each. I read mine out loud every time because I believe that faith comes by hearing. Faith in whatever it is, the Bible means faith in God comes by hearing the Word of God but whatever you allow yourself to hear repeatedly will increase your faith in that thing, and we know that the subconscious doesn’t differentiate, it just accepts what the conscious guard of our hearts repeatedly allows through.

So as I was reading Luke Chapter 8 a few days ago, a verse that I have probably read a hundred times but never really noticed before leapt off the page at me. Its verse 18 where Jesus says…

Therefore consider carefully how you listen.

Then he goes on to say

Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”

And I may have thought that was more about material things and I am sure since all truth is parallel it can be but here I now see it as spiritual… or should I say understanding…If I understand this it will be given to me to understand more…If I do not understand even that which I thought I understood will be taken away from me.

So lets look at the question then…”How do we listen, or how do we hear?  Well you can hear without listening can’t you. If we don’t pay attention we miss what we were intended to hear.

If someone is taking the trouble to try to tell us something we should at least start from the premise that they are doing that for the good of all concerned.

Jesus before He said consider carefully HOW you listen Jesus had just told the story about the farmer who went out to sow seeds. The birds steal some off the path, the sun burns up those that fall upon the rocky ground because its roots are not deep enough, some live a half life, they can hang around for years but they never bare any fruit because they never seem to get past the cares of this world.

And some just seem to be overcome what ever happens and they bare fruit, some 30 some 60 and some 100 fold. They bare fruit and so to what they have more will be added.

Maybe we have taken this in a passive way…if you are rocky ground then you are rocky ground…if you have the thorns then thats just the way it is…but since we have been thinking a lot about thinking I have realised that we actually get to choose what kind of ground we will be…

So if I am a hard ground person (due to my past thinking) and I want to be good a ground person that is going to take some effort, and I will really have to have the desire if I am to see it through.…we have read in the Master Keys that thinking is work, hard mental work and that is something many people will not want to do but we must understand that it is our own choice.

If we will do the work, regardless of the pain and the time it will take, we can transform our hearts from being hard where we cannot stop the birds from stealing the seed to the kind of fertile soil where we could not stop the production of a profitable harvest even if we wanted to.

If my heart is like the hard path it is a result of my past thinking and doings but if I want things to be different I have to change how I hear things…my understanding of the laws of the mind must be allowed to bare fruit. The Law of Growth tells me, If I forget about the things that I have allowed to harden my heart they will atrophy. If I fill my mind with whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, if I think about these things, Phil 4:8  my very character and then my circumstances will change.  My sermons have been greatly influenced by this prolonged study and I spoke from the pulpit on New Years Day inspired by these thoughts.

To carefully consider how we listen there are 4 steps.

Hear, Interpret, Evaluate and Respond.

We first hear, by paying attention and shutting out all distractions…

We may then have to interpret…I found the language quite antiquated with Emmerson and to a lesser degree with Haanel so a dictionary is proving useful quite often…

Having understood or translated the words we must Evaluate…

I have tried to keep an open mind…to allow others a different perspective when the temptation has been to compare notes with what I already believe. I have not agreed absolutely with everything and I have disagreed at times but I have seen value in everything even if it has simply opened a point of discussion in my mind.

And our response perhaps with more words as in this writing but more importantly with the physical application off what we have discovered. Are we doing anything differently because this is the only proof that we listened and understood. By the fruit you shall know them.

So “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.”