06/30/15 – 190
One of the first aspects of Jesus’ love that we studied was based on this scripture (and others):
Luke 2:46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions
We talked about the conversation He had with the ‘Woman at the Well’ in Luke 4, a Samaritan woman who no other self-respecting Jew (let alone rabbi) would have even acknowledged. But Jesus not only spoke to her, He had a conversation with her. That means He didn’t just lecture her – tell her what she was doing wrong. He actually listened to her. If you think about it, it just makes sense.
- You love someone.
- If You love him/her, they are important to you.
- If they are important to you, what they say and feel matters to you.
- If it matters, it will become a priority – and that’s intentional.
I can’t over-emphasize this – just because you hear something does NOT mean you were listening!
The following is from a Christianity Today article for Small Group leaders called The Heart Of Listening by Beatrice Ruzu (2013).
“The Difference between Hearing and Listening
What is the distinction between hearing and listening? Hear means “to perceive or apprehend by the ear.” On the other hand, listen is “to hear something with thoughtful attention.” Hearing is a complex process that involves the ears and the brain. However, it’s an automatic and passive activity. We can hear sounds without actively engaging in the process. Listening, though, requires conscious choice. It requires our attention as we try to understand the meaning behind the sounds we hear.
Listening is important in all relationships. In fact, you can’t have a relationship if you don’t listen to the other person. This is true of our relationship with God as well as our relationships with others.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. In fact, I didn’t – that’s why I quoted Ms. Ruzu.
Listening is not just something we do because we can’t help it. It is a skill that can be learned, it is something that we can strive to do better. If we do, it will not only improve our relationships but enhance our lives. Have you ever missed an opportunity because you just ‘didn’t catch’ something someone said in a meeting or a conversation? As much as listening is a learned skill, so is speech, and some have a hard time communicating their ideas clearly. A good listener will be able to pick up on that and help the other person to get to their point, whether their difficulty is from lack of skill or maybe just fear or emotion.
That all sounds good, but exactly how do we do it? We’ll talk about it tomorrow. For today, let’s pray that the Holy Spirit would just start by tapping us on the shoulder – prompting us when we need to pay closer attention to what someone else – or He – is saying to us.