You don’t have to be deaf to be hard of hearing. The lion was the king of the jungle . . . at least that is what he wanted others to think! He strolled up to the bear. “Who is the king of the jungle?” he growled. “Why, you are of course!” said the frightened bear. The lion roared in approval. Next he went to the tiger. “Who is the king of the jungle?” he thundered. The tiger became a kitten. “Everyone knows that you are, O mighty lion!” The lion swelled with pride.
Next on the list was the elephant. The lion swaggered up to the enormous beast and leveled his question: “Who is the king of the jungle?” In a flash, the elephant grabbed the lion with his trunk, whirled him around five times, beat him like a drum, dunked him in the river, and threw him against a tree.
The lion was battered and bruised, but undaunted. He struggled to his feet, peered up at the elephant through his one good eye and mumbled, “Look, just because you don’t know the answer you don’t have to get so bent out of shape.”
Like the lion, some of us are so preoccupied with what we think that we can’t learn from others even if they try to beat it into us. But wise people listen—to critics and confidants alike. God stresses the importance of being “all ears” in Proverbs:
Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others. (Proverbs 12:15 NLT)
It is a jungle out there, a maze of obstacles and opportunities. Some wander in circles while others find the beaten path. What separates the drifters from the determined is, in part, the willingness to listen. So what keeps us from being “all ears”? Pride. There is a lion inside of us that wants to strut, growl, and roar.
- “Who are they to tell me how to run my company?”
- “Look, I’ve been doing this job for ten years!”
- “If I want your help, I’ll ask for it!”
- “I wasn’t born yesterday, you know!”
- “I can do it myself.”
- “I’m not going to listen to him!”
God has a very important word for those who want to be “king of the jungle”: LISTEN!
STAY FOCUSED TODAY: Today when someone offers a suggestion, tell him or her, “I’m all ears!”