Hearing vs. Listening

What is the difference?

Hearing and listening are the same thing right?

Hearing definition = to be capable of perceiving sound by the ear; have the faculty of perceiving sound vibrations.

Listening definition = to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing; give ear.

Seems pretty close.

Here is how I break this down. You hear with your ears and process sounds. You listen with your head and sometimes your heart to gain meaning and understanding of the sounds you hear.

I am very prone to hear my wife when I am in the middle if doing something else. I listen to my wife when I stop what I am doing and focus on her. This is the same with anyone we come in contact with on a daily basis.

It is about being present in the moment. (More on this another day)

From a Christian perspective, How often do we “hear” God when we read scripture? Our mind is a million miles away. If we refocus ourselves, we listen and learn.

Are you hearing or listening today?

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