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  • Writer's pictureBishop Mesrop Parsamyan

Listening with the Heart

There’s an Armenian proverb that says, “We have three ears: one on the left side of the head, the other on the right, and the third in the heart." We often forget about listening with the heart, while this kind of listening can make all the difference in our relationship with God.

We all go to church, sit side by side, and participate in the same Badarak, but some of us leave feeling the presence of God deeply in our hearts, while others feel nothing. Why is that? It’s because some hear with the heart, and others only with the ears. When you listen with your heart, you’re not just hearing words; you’re letting them take root in your soul.

Then, how can we develop this heart-listening? The Apostle James gives us four key prerequisites in the New Testament.

1. Be Quick to Listen: James 1:19 says, "You should be more of a listener than a speaker." In our fast-paced world, we’re often more eager to speak than to listen. But God’s wisdom is clear: we need to slow down and truly listen. When you make time to listen to God’s Word, you allow it to penetrate your heart. This means setting aside quiet moments to read Scripture and meditate on His promises.

2. Be Slow to Anger: James continues, "Do not be easily provoked." Anger and frustration can cloud our hearts, making it hard to hear God’s gentle voice. When we let go of anger and embrace patience, we create a space where God’s Word can dwell richly within us. It’s about keeping a calm and receptive heart, ready to hear His guidance.

3. Put Away Every Dirty Habit: James tells us, "Put away from you every dirty habit and evil desire." To hear with our hearts, we must cleanse our lives of distractions and sinful habits. It’s about making a conscious effort to turn away from anything that pulls us away from God. By doing so, we create a pure environment where His Word can thrive.

4. Meekly Accept the Word: Lastly, James instructs us to "meekly accept the Word of God planted in you, which can save your souls." Humility is key. When we approach God’s Word with humility, acknowledging our need for His wisdom and guidance, we open our hearts fully to His message. It’s about being teachable and ready to receive His truth.

So, let’s strive to be quick to listen, slow to anger, put away every dirty habit, and meekly accept the Word planted in us. When we do this, we’ll experience God’s presence in a deeper, more transformative way. We’ll “hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.” (Luke 8:15)

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