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The 11th “Leadership” Day of Christmas – The Gift of Your Ear and Your Heart

In case you joined this Christmas party late, each day, I am adding one of the gifts/assignments so that, eventually, there will be 12 “Leadership Days of Christmas.

I mentioned in the first post of this series I am borrowing the theme from one of my least favorite Christmas songs (The 12 Days of…) and an article by Kevin Eikenberry. I’ve decided to put together an assignment or, for some, a game for you over the next 12 days – we’ll call it your 12 Leadership Days of Christmas. Here’s how it will work.

For each day (ending on Christmas Eve), I will post a daily question for you to ponder. Each question/post will only take a couple of minutes to read, but to get the value (and the gifts), you will want to invest some time to think about your answer to the question.

So, my part is to post these, and your part of the deal is to invest 12 minutes each day. (Ok, it may not take 12 minutes, but the symmetry is hard to pass up.) In reality, some days might not take nearly that long, and some may find you thinking much longer.

Yesterday we received the 12th Day of Christmas – The Gift of Change. Today is the 11th Day of Christmas – The Gift of Your Ear and Your Heart.

While I don’t know the value of 11 pipers piping, I believe the value of the gift you will give after you do today’s task will be greater than that!

Let’s get to it…

Find a quiet time and ask yourself these questions…

  • How often do I stop and listen to the Lord through His Word?
  • What might change in my life if I listened more to the Lord?
  • How often do I stop and listen to my team?
  • What might change in our communication, productivity, and relationships if I talked less and listened more?

And then, after you have asked yourself these questions, pick one situation in your day today or tomorrow where you will consciously stop talking and start listening.

Action Steps
How to ‘HEAR’ God’s Word

So then faith comes by hearing …the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Ways to Hear God Through His Word
  • The Bible on CD
  • Church worship services and Bible studies
  • Sermon on CD / podcast
  • Radio / TV Bible teachers (accurate ones)

PROBLEM: We forget about 95% of what we hear after 72 hours!

Ways to Improve Your Hearing

1. Be ready and eager to hear God.

(Jesus) “But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things, He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Lk. 8:8)

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps. 119:103)

2. Correct any attitudes that prevent you from hearing God. (Luke 8:4 – 15) Therefore take heed how you hear…” (Lk. 8:18)

An Intolerant Mind: Is fear, pride, bitterness, or rebellion preventing me from hearing God?

An Indifferent Mind: Am I really serious about wanting to hear God speak to me?

An Inattentive Mind: Am I too busy and concerned with other things to concentrate on what God has to say to me?

3. Confess and forsake any sin in your life.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…” (1 John 1:9)

“…lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word…” (James 1:21)

4. Take notes on what you hear.

…we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away…” (Hebrews 2:1)

Keep a “Spiritual Notebook”

5. Act on what you hear!

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves…But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22, 25)

My Thoughts

Once you see the results, you will want to do it repeatedly. The gift will come immediately and will grow in value as you continue to stop talking and start listening more.

Have you ever seen a speed limit sign that was an odd number, like 11 miles per hour (mph)? It makes you stop and think when you see one. That is what I want this exercise today (and all twelve of them in this series) to do for you. I want you to stop, think, and view your role and behaviors as a leader differently.

Most of the time, the expedient thing to do is to talk – to tell people our opinion and what we need. But then we may be speeding to a collision. Speed limit signs give us a recommended speed, but for most of us, in reality, they warn us to slow down.

Today’s task isn’t a warning but a suggestion that will be a gift given to you and your team members for a very long time.

Written by Stan Ponz
Dr. Stan Ponz is founder and president of Make It Clear Ministries (a national ministry that began in 1973 to help people take the Gospel and the Word of God into every person's world!). Stan also serves as President of Clarity Christian College. and is married to his high school sweetheart Carol, who led him to the Lord in 1966.