Listening and Hearing: 2 Similar But Different Words


I mentioned in the previous blog post here that Holy Spirit gave me a word for the 2017 year and because of this given word, I’m going to continue this series on listening.

I am a Life Coach, so I am trained to listen and listen well. That means that I clear my mind of all my personal “stuff” when coaching. I’m not saying I’m perfect at this listening skill, which I think is why God wants me to concentrate on this word for the year.

So how do listening and hearing relate? When I take the time to really listen to whoever is speaking to me, then I will clearly hear and understand what the speaker is saying.

When I first became a Christian, the very first book I read through was the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs is a wealth of instructions for living and relationships in life.

In the ESV Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”

So does simply listening to advice make us wise? I think there is more to this Scripture. I think we need to follow up listening with hearing. Hearing goes deeper than listening.

Hearing leads to taking some sort of action. One can listen until the cows come home but not hear.

It is interesting that the Hebrew language uses fewer words than the English language to describe the same meaning.

The verse above uses the English word “listen, ” but in Hebrew, that original word would take on a deeper meaning. It would include hearing and obeying, taking some sort of action.

If we look at all the instances of listening and hearing in Scripture, the translators most likely had to look at the context of the words to give the translations an obvious meaning for those of us who don’t understand the Hebrew language or customs.

So to conclude, it pays to “listen” to the Word. But to really “hear” it, we will take some sort of action. We might make a change in our thoughts, actions, lifestyles, relationships, etc. including our relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

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Destiny Coaching

I am a Mental Health/Life Purpose Coach and Biblical Counselor with a passion for walking with people as they discover their God ordained destiny.

4 thoughts on “Listening and Hearing: 2 Similar But Different Words”

    1. Thanks Naomi. Light University Online is where I studied. Great choice!
      They also have a Life Coach Credentialing organization. I plan to submit my application for credentialing this year.


  1. Great reminder, Gloria! James 1:22 (NIV) Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.


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