Have you noticed the world’s style of communicating has degenerated into shout outs and tirades – more about getting a point across than in really listening to hear the heart of someone else who might have a differing opinion? In our world of short tweets, 140 characters, texts, and abbreviated communication, are we too busy to listen?
If I’m honest, I know I can easily tune someone out or fail to really hear them when they are talking to me. Sometimes it’s because the subject isn’t interesting to me; instead of listening, I’m thinking about where I would rather be or what is next on my “to do” list. Sometimes I fail to listen because I have a strong opinion about the subject and I’m busy formulating a response rather than really endeavoring to hear and understand the person who is talking.
Listening – really listening, not just with our ears, but our hearts – is a gift. It’s a gift modeled to us by the God who hears us. The Bible is full of verses telling us just how much God truly hears and understands us…
“For the Lord hears the needy, and does not despise his own that are in bonds.” – Psalm 69:33
“But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.” – Psalm 4:3
“And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him.” – 1 John 5:14-15
I am overwhelmed with awe when I understand that God hears each one of us individually – hears ME – and cares deeply about what I am saying (and even what I’m not saying out loud). God’s gift of listening compels me to want to hear what he has to say to me … and to also follow his example and truly listen to others around me. – Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist