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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Is hearing or the failure to hear a matter of responsibility and culpability, or is it not? Maybe another family story will help sort this out. Eight years ago, I suffered an ear infection that led to a puncturing of the eardrum. A doctor wanted to test how much damage had been done, so I was ushered into a sound-proof booth and administered a number of tests. When we were finished, I asked the technician about the results. She replied that, for a 45-year-old man, my hearing was slightly above average.
"Well, isn't that interesting," I said. "Now I have medico-scientific proof that my wife and daughter are wrong. They think I'm getting hard of hearing." The technician didn't miss a beat. "There is a difference between hearing and listening," she said.
So there you have it: there is a distinction between hearing and listening. We may have functioning hearing organs and still fail to listen to what others are saying. Put differently, hearing is a matter of physical endowment, but listening is a skill at which we can work to become better, more adept.
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