The Art of Listening

I had the opportunity a couple of years ago to have lunch with a lady who had significant hearing loss since birth. She did a very good job of reading lips. I on the other hand did not do as great a job making out her words. I saw right away this was going to be a challenge for me even though she managed her words very well for someone who could not hear.

I began to focus on each word as it escaped her lips so I could see the shape of her mouth to anticipate what she might be saying so I could respond appropriately. When I could not understand a particular word and had to ask her multiple times to repeat it, I felt really bad. Although she is probably used to that and did not seem to mind repeating and trying her best to help me make out her words. I paused after each sentence before I responded. I repeated over and over in my head, “Help me, Holy Spirit.”

I admittedly have not been a great listener in the past. I will attempt to inject my two cents worth before the other person completes their thought. I am aware of this and have been training myself to be intentional about listening to understand instead of thinking about my response. I also try to pause before responding and ask the Holy Spirit to help me with my answer. Having lunch with this kind lady gave me some much-needed practice. I realized more than ever how intently I was listening.

Isn’t this what God wants of us? How much do you think our Heavenly Father wants us to be still, listen, and pause for an answer? Maybe He even wants us to take our time while praying and communicating with Him and not rush through our prayers- He is a great listener. But, once we have all our thoughts out, we need to give Him a chance to speak.

 You may be surprised what He has to say.

James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters; take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

3 thoughts on “The Art of Listening

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