Monday, October 20, 2014

Active Listening

Communication today most often means finding the right “gimmick” for grabbing someone’s attention by using the “correct method” of enabling us to give them what we want them to hear. Multitudes of educational media experts teach us how to communicate. We have developed great expertise knowing  how to communicate, but who do we teach to listen?

How well do you listen? Or, are you just looking for the right opening for jumping onto the conversational train that will once more give you direct control of the conversation? Too many of us are like the pastor who had a visit from an excited former member who had become a rural pastor  a few miles distant.

This young beginner-pastor returned home filled with youthful excitement at perceived progress; he couldn’t wait to share his good news with his idol and former mentor. As the younger man excitedly enumerated his successes, the older man sat behind his desk straightening. He put his pens and pencils back in place. He put drawer items back into the proper drawer and quietly rearranged each drawer. Never once did he give the young man the courtesy of even looking up at the enthusiastic youth.

Consequently, the young man told his story, limped to a limp conclusion, and lamely left the office  greatly disappointed and deeply disillusioned. The old veteran communicated his message very well, but he said almost nothing.He didn’t have to speak; his actions spoke louder than words, as he communicated his message of unconcern that caused the younger man to go back to school and eventually spend his life teaching young seminarians The Awesome Power of the Listening Ear (John W. Drakeford, Broadman Press).

Jesus modeled good listening. He listened with his head (ears), his  heart, and his eyes. He listened to both God and the people he encountered. Consequently, he also heard from both God and men, because he listened well. By listening actively, he communicated attentiveness, love, and concern. He practiced his own teaching, which was, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15).

Our most powerful means of communication today is the awesome power of our listening ears. Are you a spouse wanting to communicate with your marital mate? Are you a parent wishing to touch base with your child? Are you a concerned friend hoping to touch a point of need in the life of a friend? Are you a Sunday school teacher hoping to share a lesson? Are you someone who needs to have your life touched?

Try communicating your concern by your actively listening to the words being spoken  to you. Communicate by listening! An adventure in good listening may be the most significant key you have for communicating the message you wish to share.

From Warner’s World,
this is walkingwithwarner.blogspot,com

reminding you that God’s ears are ever attentive to your prayers (I Peter 3:12).

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