Listen Up!


Luke 8:18 (KJV): “Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.”

COMMENTARY: Over and over, Jesus exhorted people to listen and hear. There are good consequences for those who hear, and bad consequences for those who don’t. This is true of the Gospel. It’s also true with wisdom.

APPLICATION: At a family birthday party, I struck up a conversation with a semi-retired man with over 40 years of experience at a global manufacturing firm.

He had been a union leader on the shop floor for decades. We seemed to get along well, so as the conversation continued, I felt comfortable asking a probing question. “Based on your years of experience, what would you say have been your biggest issues with management, that have caused the most strife and tension?”

To my surprise, he didn’t say stinginess with pay and benefits, unsafe working conditions, company politics, or management incompetence. To him, the single biggest cause of friction between management and labor was listening. From his point of view, management didn’t listen to employee issues when they were small and easily fixable. Management didn’t hear what employees were saying, and ignored issues until they festered and became serious. Looking back, he believed that much of the friction could have been avoided if management had been listening from the beginning.

Do you actively and regularly listen to your employees? Do they listen to you? Communication requires two-way speaking and two-way listening. The benefits of listening to each other are enormous; the pitfalls of not listening are also enormous. If you want to improve management-labor relations, then communicate constructively on a regular basis.

Joyfully yours,


For Further Exploration

For further exploration about Luke 8:18 (KJV),read Luke and Work from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.