Becoming an Engaged Listener

Understand
this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to
speak and slow to get angry.

James 1:19 (NLT)

Are you quicker to listen or to speak?

Do you listen to understand or to respond?

Some of you are excellent listeners. You’re
attentive and curious, eager to understand the speaker’s meaning. You sense emotion
in body language and empathize with their perspective. Well done!

I don’t always listen well.

My mind sometimes drifts. I envision my to-do list
and glance at the clock. I glimpse a friend and remember I have something to
give her. I formulate a solution rather than simply affirm your feelings. Can
you relate?

While mulling over this scripture and evaluating my listening
skills, this quote crossed my Twitter feed. It’s a God-incidence, a jarring
thought.

Christians who
can no longer listen to one another will soon no longer be listening to God
either. – Deitrich Bonhoeffer

If we won’t listen to each other, we’ll soon stop listening to God. (tweet this)

I’ve never considered applying good listening skills
to Bible reading.

When God speaks to me in scripture, do I consider His
perspective and His intention behind the words? Do I react too quickly,
impulsively, defensively, selfishly? Am I fully involved, understanding context
and emotion? Or am I checking my to-do list and watching the clock?

We often hear from God by reading scripture. But
sometimes we need to dig deeper in study because we can misinterpret God’s
message when we don’t understand the context and intent. Good listening is
crucial.

Let’s be engaged listeners of God’s Word. (tweet this)

How
can you improve your listening skills? Do you think listening better to your
friends will help you listen better to God?

#SeedsofScripture #listening #Bible

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Each post is a brief scriptural thought that will grow as you let it take root in your thoughts. If you have time, dig into one area of interest and plant a whole garden.

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