Listening, Your Gift to Others
“If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.”
─ Matthew 18:15 AMPC
“You never listen to me!” Cassie shouted at her mother as she turned and stormed up the stairs.
Amy sank into the overstuffed couch and considered her daughter’s words. She is right, Amy thought. I don’t listen to her. I assume, because she’s so much like me, that I know her all too well.
Amy sat on the couch and prayed quietly. She asked the Lord to soften her daughter’s heart, and to give her ears to hear her daughter out. Then she walked up the stairs and stuck her head into the doorway of Cassie’s room. “You’re right,” she said softly. “I don’t listen; I assume. Please forgive me. I want to hear everything you have to say.”
Truly listening is a gift we give to others that often becomes a mutual benefit in the relationship. Jesus said, “If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.”
It takes work to be an effective listener and better communicator. Making eye contact, listening closely, reflecting on what was said, and blocking out other thoughts requires your highest concentration.
Some keys to listening
- Open your heart by committing to hear what is being said.
- Remain determined to respond, not react.
- Give the speaker your full attention with eye contact and head nods, demonstrating you are taking it all in.
- Allow them to express their feelings without taking offense.
- Forgive inconsiderate words.
You will find that hearing what is said is much more important than trying to think of what to say. Listening builds relationship. Give the gift of listening to others.
Today’s One Thing
Are you a good listener? Review the keys to listening above. Choose one area you think you need to improve in, and ask the Lord to help you become a better listener as you practice giving this gift to others this week.