If my people would but listen to me…
I heard the child ask his mother the same question five times, but the mother, who was looking at her cell phone, never answered. She wasn’t listening. I can’t point a finger. When my girls were young, I let many distractions keep me from listening to them. I can still be easily distracted when listening.
Listening is difficult, isn’t it! Listening requires denying self and giving to others. A good listener isn’t focused on how he will respond. A good listener doesn’t interrupt (except for clarification). A good listener refrains from judgment. He listens with his ears, mind, and heart.
Good listeners resemble the Lord God. God stands ready at all times to listen to His people. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice (Psalm 55:17). Read through the gospels, and you’ll discover that Jesus was a great listener. Believer, God is conforming you to His likeness, so He wants you to become a good listener.
As we consistently listen to God, He transforms us into good listeners. We know that wisdom comes by listening to God’s voice in scripture and applying it. (Psalm 119:98-100) As we listen to God, our love and compassion for others increases. Wisdom, love, and compassion are needed ingredients for effective listening. The more we love others and have compassion for them, the more our focus shifts from self to those around us. Wisdom and understanding guide us in evaluating what we hear from others. God’s wisdom then enables us to speak effectively. Those who do not consistently listen to God have little to say that’s worth hearing.
Do you want to become an effective listener? Then carve out time daily to listen intently to the still, small voice of God through scripture. God increasingly transforms us into His likeness as we come to know Him and His Word. God, the best listener of all, can transform you into a good listener.
Lord, help us to be other-centered and not self-centered. Teach us, Lord, to listen.