How do you know someone is listening to you when you’re talking to them? Well…you really don’t unless you start asking questions about what you were talking about, and they happen to answer you…oh, and answer you correctly.
Now, if they’re standing there with a glazed look in their eyes and grunt out a “huh?” You can pretty much bet that no listening is going on!
We’ve all been accused at one time or another of not listening. I can remember growing up and getting that “Are you listening to me?” look from my Mom. I’m sure you did too from your parents.
What about school? Did you sit there and day-dream while your teacher talked or read through certain pages of a text? Maybe they were trying to explain a math equation. (That’s when my eyes start to glaze over!)
How about, “Nana – Nana – Boo – Boo I can’t hear you” being chanted in that sing-song voice. With your little hands over your ears, you had blocked out the entire universe singing this louder and louder. And who can forget that sassy phrase, “Talk to the hand because the ears aren’t listening!”
We all have the choice of ‘to listen’ or ‘not to listen.’
“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.” Rachel Naomi Remen
Paul was never short on words, he always had plenty to say, and I’m sure there were those who chose not to listen to him.
In Hebrews chapter 5 Paul tells us that Jesus “learned trusting obedience by what he suffered, just as we do. Then, having arrived at the full stature of maturity…he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him.” Hebrews 5:9-10 MSG
Paul’s words were wise to those who would listen…but look what he says next;
“I have a lot more to say about this but it is hard to get it across to you since you’ve picked up this bad habit of not listening. By the time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you to go over the basics on God again, starting from square one.” Hebrews 5: 11-12 MSG
According to Forbes magazine these are the “10 Steps To Effective Listening.”
1. Face the speaker and maintain eye contact
2. Be attentive, but relaxed
3. Keep an open mind
4. Listening to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying
5. Don’t interrupt and don’t impose your “solutions”
6. Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions
7. Ask questions only to ensure understanding
8. Try to feel what the speaker is feeling
9. Give the speaker regular feedback
10. Pay attention to what isn’t said – nonverbal cues.
Is God trying to tell you something? Is he trying to tell me something?
Now…take those 10 steps and let your Papa God be that speaker…are we listening?