Posted by: Kimberly | Fri May 27, 2011

Listening

Listening is a skill. I have learned over the years that to be an effective communicator, I must listen. I don’t claim to be an expert listener, I’m a work in progress. I majored in Communications in college and I remember being taught how to speak well and communicate effectively to my audience. I cannot recall the times I had to give oral presentations for classes. I was prepared somewhat by my life experiences. I held jobs where I had to train people both individually and en masse. I paired written words, which I prepared, and articulated my thoughts extemporaneously. Those who learned quickly were good at listening and were attentive.

I have a friend who is an excellent listener. We used to have lengthy conversations and in talking to him one day I mentioned that he had excellent listening skills. He is patient when I communicate with him whether we are face-to-face or chatting on the phone. He told me it was an acquired skill. I have often thought of this over the years. I have tried to hone my ears to not only hear people when they speak but to actively listen. I try to listen to their emotion and their intent. If I don’t understand what they are saying, I ask questions. I tell them what I perceive and if I’m off-base most of them will explain their words if they want to get their point across.

I looked up the words hear and listen. Hear is a perception of sound and information. Listen is to pay attention and to wait for sound, to actively hear. “To wait for sound” shows me the patience we must have when we listen. Hearing is simply to perceive with the ear while listening is to try to hear and be involved with sounds. We hear noises all day, our alarm clock, our coffee maker, voices, traffic, music, birds singing, dogs barking, our computer’s hum, but how often do we actively engage with the noises we hear? Do we just hear them or do we pay attention to them and think about them?

Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. Isaiah 55:3

I remind myself mentally to take note of what other people say and try to actively listen and not just ‘hear’ their words. I try to have my ears wide open. The Bible says that we “will find life” when we listen! In Proverbs it says “don’t lose sight of them.” This is an active form of listening! It goes on to say “let them penetrate into your heart.” When we listen and understand, we don’t simply have the knowledge in our minds we carry it in our hearts. Having the words in our heart brings a change of attitude and perception, it helps us connect.

My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Proverb 4:20-22

In Romans it speaks of connecting our faith when we hear the words of Christ. This is an active form of listening. In the Greek, the word for hearing is hearing with the soul. This is an exhortation to allow the word of God, Jesus, to penetrate our heart and soul. The “word of God” translated into the New King James version is from the Greek word ‘Christos’ referring to Christ. Christ IS the ‘word of God.’

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. (NLT) or So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (NKJV)

My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Proverb 4:20-22

I want to communicate effectively. I want to be a better listener to my friends and family and to God. It is my desire to learn.

Prayer: Father, help me to not only hear your words but to allow them to penetrate my heart and soul. Help me to be a better listener and not one who just hears. Amen 


Responses

  1. ooo, I needed this. I need to work on aquiring this skill. I love listening with our soul to the soul and intent of others. I pray I will slow and be still long enough to listen to others and to God. Thanks, Kimberly!

    Like


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