Lately I have become more aware of my problems with listening. Listening is an "other" focused activity and I am basically self-centered. Listening takes work and practice. Listening is NOT reacting, talking or thinking of a response. Rather listening requires the discipline of:
- Completely hearing someone else's thought (or even their name when introduced)
- Waiting before replying
- Summarizing their key ideas and
- Reflecting back their feelings, attitudes and opinions
My problems with listening extend beyond family, friends and daily communications. Not listening to God is a big problem! Hearing completely and daily the voice of God through His word and quietly reflecting and waiting on Him is not easy for me. This year I have tried to take notes when listening to God, to ask God questions and to seek clarification. Listening helps me to know and understand God better.
God speaks in many ways. At one point He spoke through the judges to the children of Israel.
"Then the Lord raised up judges who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Yet they would not listen to their judges…" (Judges 2:16-17)
I am often just like one of the children of Israel. Will you join me on the difficult journey of active listening this week?
Sharing the journey with you,