Listening is one of the greatest skills one can have. When one listens they are giving full attention to the speaker; they are not distracted, they are not anticipating their own response. Much of what we hear is filtered through a screen of what we have taken away from our own experiences. It's kind of like adding a couple of tracks to a song; it can completely change how the song sounds. "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
"You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts." ~Matthew 13:14-15
This passage talks about a people that inhabited Israel over 2,000 years ago, I think it also talks about many people today. People who carry anger, unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment; also people who put idols before God such as wealth, material things, position, activities etc. When one knowingly continues to live in sin, that person's heart also hardens. So it makes me wonder, how many people in society today are actually hearing what God has to say? I know I want to be one that hears!
The best way to get to know God and have a relationship with Him is through His word and through prayer. Are you free of the chains that keep You from learning about and understanding God? Are you willing to let go and give the baggage you carry to Him? Are you willing to be honest with yourself and with God? All you need to do is ask Him to take it from you and He will. I want my perception and what I read and hear about God to be unfiltered, unbiased and heard through a heart that is filled with Jesus. I hope you can have that too.