(10.01.21– Works of the Heart – Proverbs 18: 2)
My friend, may I ask you a question? If you find yourself thinking about other things while you listen to a person speak or are tempted to listen for a few key facts while overlooking the ideas, do you have a listening problem?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I'm M. Clifford Brunner.
Listening with our ears doesn't always equate with listening with the heart. Let me give you an example. Years ago when my son Dan was a little tot showed me his finger that he had lacerated earlier in the day as he was pulling on a steel cable and a metal sliver had sliced through his fingertip. He was looking for a little sympathy and he wanted to tell me the story; I took the opportunity to lecture him on the care of nasty metal wounds. As I lectured Dan’s eyes began to become distant but I paid this little notice. Finally he turned away fixing his gaze upon something distant, out the window. Undoubtedly, I thought, he was better educated and my lecture had hit home.
The fact is, I learned little of his experience with the cable and almost nothing about the nature of the pain he had suffered from the wound. I had used his conversation starter as a cue to start opening the data storehouse that I keep stocked within the recesses of my brain. As he spoke my thoughts raced at record speed away from his words and deep within the portion of my own self-focused thought process. None of this was clear to me until I felt a tap on my shoulder. Holly was putting on the brakes. She had listened intently to what I had to say about the dangers of infection. “So what!” She said as she grabbed my attention. Then I looked around to see several sets of eyes focused on our little conversation. “Great kids–good listeners!” I thought. Then it struck me. Why had I started down that road in the first place? Dan’s wound had become so secondary to my dissertation on infection.
I wasn’t listening to Dan. I had exercised my lips but not my ears. There’s an old saying that God gave us one mouth to speak and two ears to listen because He wants us to listen twice as much as we speak. There is a lot of truth in that simple adage. How often we find ourselves wrapped up in us and our own ideas; so much so that we race ahead of the conversation just so we can select the right story, the correct tidbit of information, or just the sharpest witty remark that will fit the first few words our ears received. As the writer of Proverbs tells us, this is a fool’s path, not a path of wisdom. It demonstrates only that our hearts are full of self-interest while allowing little if any room for the interests of others.
If you find yourself thinking about other things while you listen to a person speak or are tempted to listen for a few key facts while overlooking the ideas, you may have a listening problem. If so, you may be a good candidate for a listening tune-up. When someone takes the time to speak with you, focus on their words and ideas and be patient. Avoid the trap of fools. It is always better to hear others speak than it is to hear yourself.
We pray. Heavenly Father, please forgive us when we find ourselves thinking about other things while we listen to a person speak, or are tempted to listen for just a few key facts while overlooking the greater ideas of what we are hearing. Lord, sin has made us bad listeners and we know that we might have a listening problem when others are frustrated with how we hear their words. By Your Spirit Lord, assist our listening, giving us a good listening tune-up from time to time. When someone takes the time to speak with us, help us to focus on their words and ideas and be patient. May we always avoid the trap of fools. striving to hear ourselves before we try to hear others. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<email@example.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.