“Are You Listening?”
By Jerry D. Ousley
Listening is an art. We don’t think about it much but really, it is. I know a few people who are very hard to talk to because frankly they don’t know how to listen. They constantly interrupt and quite often change the subject on you in midsentence.
I hate talking to one particular individual because he will ask a question and before you can finish getting your answer or response out he’s already interrupted with yet another question. It’s frustrating to talk with him. It gives you the feeling that the person doing the interrupting really isn’t interested in what you’ve got to say. All they want to do is to
But then, I can’t stand completely guiltless in the matter. I’ve done that to Debbie many times and there’s nothing more
frustrating between a husband and wife than lack of communication. I know there have been times when she’d just
rather not talk as to have me interrupt her.
On the other hand there have also been times that I
have tried to be a good listener and my lack of response has
made her to think that I’ve just tuned her out and she’ll respond to that by asking, “Are you even listening to me?” In her defense there have been times that I really wasn’t. When that happens I’m in the wrong because it’s imperative for husbands and wives to communicate to each other. Besides, what she is saying is probably really important and you know what happens when you come back later and have to ask about that again.
Several times in the Gospels Jesus said this in variations:
“He who has ears to hear let him hear.” I know you’ve read
those words. The fact is most of us do have ears on the sides of our heads. Some may have lost them for different reasons and there are some who are deaf and can’t hear. But Jesus wasn’t leaving these folks out when He spoke those words. What He was saying was, “Those who care to listen hear what I am saying.” When it comes to God’s word there are many deaf folks who hear better than those who have been graced with the sense of hearing. Jesus was telling us that He had something very important to say and we need to listen to Him – listen to the point that we understand what He is saying and then make it a part of our lives.
Many times a lot of us will say that we have forgotten
something. There are times when this is a justifiable excuse but there are other times when we have forgotten because we didn’t listen well to begin with. I know because I’ve done it. We need to listen when we hear or read God’s Word.
There are also times when we need to listen in prayer.
Did you know that listening is a part of prayer? We sometimes
think that we need to do all the talking when we pray to God.
We fill our mouths with words and spew them forth like an
erupting volcano. When we pray we need to also have our
hearts tuned in to God and hear what He is silently speaking to
us. There are times He’s got the answer ready but we’re just
too busy talking to listen. Yes, there’s no doubt that listening is an art. We need to hone in on this great attribute and learn to listen, not only to others but also to God. When we read His word we need to listen. When we pray we need to listen. So, are you listening?