#379 – Listen

Good morning people who listen

A listening ear is one of the greatest expressions of love we can give to another person. Yet so often we are not that good at listening, at least I’m not. Too often I am focused on the next thing I am going to say, giving advice and simply ‘fixing the problem’ or justifying myself and not truly listening to the heart of what is being said. Many times I am hearing but not listening. The root of this is self-centredness; a focus on me and how I feel.

Dr Paul Tournier wrote “Listen to the conversations of our world, between nations as well as those between couples. They are for the most part dialogues of the deaf”. (from the book ‘To Understand Each Other’)

I read a challenging thought today in the devotional book by Charles R. Swindoll, ‘Growing strong in the seasons of life’. He says “Have you ever practiced listening evangelism?”

What a ‘stop you in your tracks’ statement. Even when we are trying to tell people about Jesus, are we focused simply on sharing or are we truly interested in hearing their feelings? Sure Jesus shared the truth with the Samaritan woman at the well, but He did it after asking her a couple of questions and letting her share her story. She was able to do this without any sense of judgement. She was open to hearing because Jesus listened.

I’m no expert in this. I need to improve. The truth is many of us probably need to improve. Listening is a lost art. Yet listening is the thing that will open people up more than anything else. Today how could things be different if we listened at least twice as much as we spoke? May God help us all to become much better listeners, and by this, show love to people as Jesus did.

Proverbs 20:12 The listening ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made both of them.

James 1:19