'Let the person who has ears listen!' Mark 4:9 GWT
How often do we really listen to others, with the aim to understand where the person is coming from? One of the greatest skills we can develop is that of listening.
To be a better listener, here are three things we can do: (1) Look directly at the speaker. It's honouring to give people our full attention. We shouldn't be checking our phones, catching up on work or watching TV while they're speaking. (2) Don't interrupt. When we interrupt, people think we don't place much value on what they're saying. Or that we're trying to impress them with how much we know. Or we're too excited by what we have to add to the conversation to let them finish. Let's avoid trying to form our response to what they're saying while they're still saying it. (3) Suspend our judgement. It's good to wait to hear the whole story before we respond. If we don't, we may miss the most important things the speaker has to say.
In James 1:19 it says: 'Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry' (NIV). This is important for people, but even more important when it comes to listening to God. We won't know how close we are to a breakthrough or a blessing until we learn to listen. So, when you listen, listen carefully.
So what now? Next time someone's talking to you, really listen to what they're saying. Put all distractions (like your phone) away, and wait until they've finished speaking before you say something.
Soulfood: Isa 17-21, Matt 10:32-42, Ps 107:1-9, Pro 3:13-18