December 6, 2023

“A prophet like me will, the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kin; to him you listen.” (Deuteronomy 18:15) Moses humbly recognized himself as a prophet but he led the people to look up to the greatest prophet and admonish them to listen to him.
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kin, and I will put my words into his mouth, he shall tell them all that I command him. Whoever will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name, I myself will make answer for it.” (Deuteronomy 18:19)
Listening indeed to the word of God is life. We must listen to him to know, learn, and understand life. The opposite of it is a loss.
“Oh, that today you would hear his voice: Harden not your hearts as in the day of Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the desert, where your fathers tempted me; they tested me though they had seen my works.” (Psalm 95: 7-9)
The word heart has other words on it. I love how Natividad Dauz played and pondered on the word to bring out other words on it. “Remove letter ‘T’ in the word heart and you find the word, ‘hear.’ Removing letter ‘H’ in the verb ‘hear’ will be the organ that hears, the ear.”
We may hear but not understand. But when we listen, we will understand. Listening, therefore, is not only about hearing. It is about involving the depth of the person or the heart of the person.
May I quickly feature a good teacher whom I worked with in the Angelicum Home Study in Bontoc. Ma’am Naty is a retired professor at the University of Baguio. She volunteered her time, treasure, and talent as a teacher at our parish home study program that catered to out-of-school youth (OSY).
She was loved by her students because she taught well and she reached out to their capacity. To teach OSY is not easy. It is an extra challenge, but Ma’am Naty enjoyed her work that turned to be a vocation. She enjoyed her work even without any compensation. Together, we had been teaching the OSY of Mountain Province and indeed we learned a lot.
Teaching and preaching come along with authority that is rooted from credibility. People need teachers to teach. But today, our world needs witnesses to teach. Teachers who are witnesses are more powerful than a teacher who works obliged by profession. The dictum, “People listen to witnesses than to teachers,” says it well.
Recently, I was tapped by Angela Apopotas, the online resource speaker for the Alternative Learning System of the Department of Education-Cordillera. The online lecture took them more than two hours for 200 ALS teachers all over the region in two days. I was tasked to talk on “values in the workplace.”
Workplace must mean the students and pupils who communicate with their teacher and the teachers with their colleagues. A workplace without values is not a healthy place to grow and not a good place to realize the objectives of work. On the other hand, a workplace founded on values is a beautiful place to listen to learn and a good place to learn and to live.
The impact of our teaching and preaching will consider the workplace, motivation, and above all, credibility.
I came across a comic strip on Facebook mentioning, “If twice your student requested for a repeat explanation, it is tolerable but if more than eight times, it will be annoying and blood pressure rises.” I humbly commented, “If eight times, then it must mean we examine our way of teaching. We may have not taught their hearts but solely the brain.”
Jesus is the teacher and preacher par excellence. “The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.” (Mark 1:22) “A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” (Mark 1:27)
As teachers and preachers today, we must first and foremost build our confidence, our strength, and authority on the teachings of Jesus. If we do, we can inform with authority. We can form the people well by our witnessing and we can transform lives well.
Reach me at [email protected] or at 0908-727-6735.