5 Aug

I am actually revisiting a post from many months ago because I am not sure listening is something many of us are good at. We hear the message, but are we listening?

I say to my grandchildren, “Be a good listener!”

I say to my college communication students, “We listen more than we speak on some days, so we must hone the skills of listening.”

I say to myself, “Are you listening or are you interrupting and missing the message?”

I say to the world, “Are you all listening to one another?”

As a listener do you take the time to tune in rather than tune out? Listening is a high energy activity. It requires many aspects of bodily involvement. We often fail to use all our power when listening because it is easy to grow impatient with the story or we may have disagreement with the speaker, or we feel tired or distracted for many reasons.

The image below is a construct from the Chinese language that brings us the word for listening. If you look closely, the Chinese interpretation of listening requires four components– ears, eyes, undivided attention and the heart. I first saw this image years ago in a communication textbook. It was captured in the chapter on listening.

It would seem that real listening requires much from us!

Ears, eyes, undivided attention, mind, body spirit and soul! That is demanding!

God would have us be good listeners.

Proverbs 18:13

13 He who answers before listening- that is his folly and his shame.

Proverbs 19:27

27 Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

James 1:22

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

I pray for listening to be a skill I work on daily rather than assume its effectiveness in me.

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