ďAre You Listening?Ē
By Jerry D. Ousley
Listening is an art. We donít think about it much but really, it is. I know a few people who are very hard to talk to because frankly they donít 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 heís already interrupted with yet another question. Itís frustrating to talk with him. It gives you the feeling that the person doing the interrupting really isnít interested in what youíve got to say. All they want to do is to
But then, I canít stand completely guiltless in the matter. Iíve done that to Debbie many times and thereís nothing more
frustrating between a husband and wife than lack of communication. I know there have been times when sheíd 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 Iíve just tuned her out and sheíll respond to that by asking, ďAre you even listening to me?Ē In her defense there have been times that I really wasnít. When that happens Iím in the wrong because itís 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:
ďHe who has ears to hear let him hear.Ē I know youíve 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 canít hear. But Jesus wasnít leaving these folks out when He spoke those words. What He was saying was, ďThose who care to listen hear what I am saying.Ē When it comes to Godís 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 Ė 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 didnít listen well to begin with. I know because Iíve done it. We need to listen when we hear or read Godís 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 Heís got the answer ready but weíre just
too busy talking to listen. Yes, thereís 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?