This year I am determined to master the art of listening. I might not accomplish it, for more and more I think it might be a gift or a talent that I’ll never truly encompass. Yet, the Bible has a lot to say on the subject. James 1:19 states “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…” and Proverbs 1:5 says “let the wise listen and add to their learning..”
In the past I’ve learned some hard lessons when I did not listen intently.
- I missed opportunities in relationships, expressions, and even in publishing.
- I “misheard” directions, advice, and others’ hurts, concerns, and praise.
- I followed my own rambling thoughts that overshadowed the still small voices of God and others.
- I sat back and watched as a spectator as others enjoyed life experiences.
Now I’m learning that listening involves many aspects that add value to my daily life.
- Patience–waiting for answers, directions, results
- Active–listening is not passive. On my part it takes action.
- Silence–my mind needs to remain still and quiet. I don’t need to talk.
- Time–I must let go of my hold on my precious hours.
- Details–concentration on the words
- Acceptance–not always pleasant, sometimes I can’t do anything but listen
- Hear new things–birds, wind, animals, voices, music–all the things that make life special.
What have you learned when you really listen? Is it easy for you?