Learn to Listen!

I may have just lost the majority of my massive reading audience using the word “learn.” Compound that with the word “Listen,” and maybe I should stop right here.

I’m not sure which is more distasteful to folks: learning or listening—probably learning. However, listening is a more formidable challenge for many.

Any healthy relationship is predicated upon healthy communication. And, as we have learned previously, communication requires listening by each member of the association. To further complicate this, there is a difference between listening and hearing.

It is easier to hear than listen. It is easier to talk than listen. Most times, I suspect, people are formulating what they want to say in their mind while the other person in the relationship is speaking. We hear them talking but are we listening? Certainly not if our thoughts are somewhere else.

In counseling individuals and couples, invariably, the subject of personal devotion comes up. I get a variety of responses when I inquire about a time of daily devotion. What is generally consistent is most people don’t listen. They spend time reading and talking to God. But, listening? That is a lot tougher, I hear.

Likely you know somebody who dominates conversations. Maybe that somebody is you, although probably not if you have read this far.

It’s impossible to have a healthy relationship with unhealthy communication. Do you ever wonder if God enjoys listening all the time while never getting to speak? How exciting is it when this happens with people? Not very. As patient as God is towards us, I suspect there are times He would like to interject a sentence or two.

Let me encourage you today and going forward. Learn to listen. Clear your mind of clutter and focus on what God is saying to you. It’s not easy. When I assign 5 minutes of silence, clearing the mind, and proactively listening, the task is initially rarely achieved.

But, with diligent effort, it becomes a life changer. I dare you to try it with God. Then with people. Call me if I can help. I promise to listen.

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