Be a Good Listener
1 It takes discipline to listen attentively. It also requires a desire on the part of the listener to learn and benefit from what is heard. Hence, Jesus stressed the need to “pay attention to how you listen.”—Luke 8:18.
2 This especially applies when we attend congregation meetings, assemblies, and conventions. These are occasions when we must listen carefully. (Heb. 2:1) Here are some points that will help you to be a good listener at these Christian gatherings.
◼ Appreciate the value of the meetings. They are a major way by which we are “taught by Jehovah” through “the faithful steward.”—Isa. 54:13; Luke 12:42.
◼ Prepare in advance. Review the material to be discussed, and be sure to bring along your Bible and personal copy of the publication being studied.
◼ During the meetings, make a special effort to concentrate. Talking to those who are sitting with you as well as watching what others in the audience do should be avoided. Try not to be distracted by thinking about what you are going to do after the meeting or about other personal matters.
◼ Analyze what is presented. Ask yourself: ‘How does this apply to me? When am I going to apply it?’
◼ Make brief notes of main points and scripture texts. This helps you to focus your thoughts on what is being discussed and contributes to your remembering key points for later use.
3 Teach Your Children to Listen: Children need spiritual instruction. (Deut. 31:12) In ancient times “all intelligent enough to listen” among God’s people had to be attentive as the Law was read to them. (Neh. 8:1-3) If parents are involved in the meetings and pay close attention, their children are likely to do the same. It is not wise to bring toys or coloring books to keep children amused. Unnecessary trips to the restroom also interfere with their listening. Since “foolishness is tied up with the heart of a boy,” parents should put forth earnest effort to see that their children sit still and listen at meetings.—Prov. 22:15.
4 By being good listeners, we prove that we are truly wise and want to “take in more instruction.”—Prov. 1:5.