Have you ever tried to communicate with someone who clearly is not listening to a word you’re saying?
A friend tells about a little boy in her Sunday school who held onto her leg and chattered away while she was trying to greet parents and students at the classroom door. Finally, in total exasperation, he raised his voice and said, “Teacher, you are not listening to me!”
The teacher stooped down to him and said, “Yes, I am listening.”
The little boy responded, “Not with your eyes.”
Some call listening the work of genuine love,
Have you ever thought about how others perceive your ability to listen? You may be listening to every word, but if the person speaking doesn’t know you are listening, they may feel ignored or even rejected.
Someone observed that God created us with two ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Maybe we should also remember that we have two eyes. When we make eye contact with someone we communicate that we are indeed listening.
Listening involves more than just hearing the words spoken. Think about listening to a hymn or praise song. Really hearing the lyrics impacts our emotions and evokes an attitude of worship. In the same way, really listening to someone communicates respect. We signal that we are taking in everything they are saying and are giving them our undivided attention.
The following items show the importance of listening:
- The Bible says listening to God and wise counselors shows true wisdom.
- Surveys show children who listen well do better in school.
- Listening enhances relationships and increases success.
- The Book of Proverbs is full of admonitions to “listen,” “hearken,” “hear,” “attend,” and “give ear to.”
Be a good listener. It takes work but shows genuine love and true biblical wisdom.
“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” Proverbs 1:5
What can you do today to listen well? Start by asking God to help you be a good listener. When having a conversation try these three steps:
- Stop everything else that may be distracting you.
- Focus on the person speaking and give him/her your undivided attention.
- Ask questions to clarify and/or learn more.
Try applying those steps to your relationship with God as well!
From In His Hands by Vonette Bright
©2023 Bright Media Foundation