Learn To Listen
“…Let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak…” — James 1:19
A great problem in many ministries, families and daily life is that there is no one to care or listen. At some time all people have problems they need to share with someone. Sometimes it seems that some are as David. “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge (help) failed me; no man cared for my soul” (Psalms 142:4). One of the great needs in Christianity is for someone simply to learn to listen. As someone said to me as they were leaving, “Well, I enjoyed talking to you about you.” For some reason it is easier to talk than to listen. When you are talking you cannot listen or learn. As one woman said after hesitating in leaving for about twenty minutes said to her husband, “I apologize for the long delay, but they would just not stop listening.” Listening is unnatural but it is greatly needed. Someone who listens will always have someone seeking to talk to them.
How To Listen – Pick the right place – Where there are no telephones, TV or distractions. When you listen keep eye contact. Do not look at your watch or papers on your desk. Listen to them with your eyes and heart. Be yourself. Be comfortable. Nod your head as they speak. Do not judge but accept them. Let them know they can trust you. Don’t try to talk them out of their feelings. Encourage them to express their needs. Let them release inner frustrations. Don’t interrupt them. Make comments as, “I’m so sorry” or “Bless your heart.” Take time to repeat back important things to understand their feelings clearly. Do not give opinions but give Bible scriptural solutions. Lead them to trust the Lord and Scriptures. Don’t let them become codependent upon you. Be sure your parting words have hope, comfort and encouragement. Try to change negative talk into positive thoughts. Close in prayer and let them know you care. Follow up with a call or note. Continue to pray for them.
Listen to me – When I ask you to listen and you give advice, you have not done what I asked. When I ask you to listen and you to tell me I should not feel that way, you ignore my feelings. When I ask you to listen and you seek to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem. So please listen and just hear me. And if you want to talk, Wait a minute for your turn; And I will listen to you! – Unknown
This Week Seek – Learn to Listen More!