“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
One of most important lessons I ever learned was the importance of listening and how to make the person you are listening to feel important ….
I was taught in a communications course that to be fully engaged in “active listening” was to be able to repeat back to the person speaking exactly what you heard. This reassures them that you were not only hearing them, but were actually listening to them ….
I read in a devotional about how once, a child came up to ask a question, and the teacher stopped what she was doing and turned toward the child. She then gently placed the fingertips of her hand under the chin of the child and tilted that little face up toward hers. She looked the child in the eye and listened to every word the child said. Everyone in that classroom knew they were not to interrupt if the teacher was listening to one of their classmates ….
This story touched me. When I pray, that is how I picture the Father responding to me. He stops .… turns toward me … and listens ….
Every relationship begins with listening. Listening is hard work and something we are not prone to do well.
I think that is what James had in mind in (James 1:19), when he wrote the directive, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak.”
I seem to read that verse backwards sometimes though ~ slow to listen and quick to speak. I tend to use listening time as an opportunity to prepare the eloquent things I am going to say when the person speaking to me stops talking ….
Sometimes my head is so busy swirling with how I am going to respond with what I am going to say, and truly I have missed the blessing of simply listening, and then being able to respond with the words the Holy Spirit would have me to say rather than dwelling on my own self-imposed eloquence ….
I know our Father loves it ~ absolutely loves it when we, His children, stop in the middle of our busy lives for no other reason than the fact that we love Him and just need to talk with Him ….
When I pray, I picture His head turning toward me, to the sound of my voice ….
He smiles, knowing that “Cindi wants to talk with Me.” Yes, He is concerned with every ordinary detail of every ordinary day, but I suspect His greatest pleasure is found in the fact that we just need to talk to the One we love ….
We can have the assurance that Jesus is not only listening to us, but waiting for us to come spend a few precious moments of our day with Him.
He is longing to tilt your face to Him so you may see His smile as He listens. He knows every word unspoken in your heart …
“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry”….. “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles”
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about ~ unless you are willing to listen. When we listen to people, we validate them. We invite them into our lives and give them the most precious gift we posses ~ our time. Loving your neighbor is not something you “feel” …. It is something that you “do”….
It’s the act of sacrificing your own needs and desires for the sake of someone else ….
It is time for us to put away our sermons, save our advice, release our own eloquent words and responses, and simply listen to the people God has placed in our lives. Talking is sharing, but listening is caring. It’s time for us to just listen …..
Let us pray ~
Father, I want to thank You for loving me. I praise You for the privilege and gift of prayer. I want to learn how to turn to You quickly and easily as I go through every moment of each day. I have to admit that I don’t fully understand how You can love me like You do, but I cherish that love and the freedom it offers me to approach the throne of grace, confident that You will hear my voice. Thank You, my Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God is with us ….