Are People Listening To You?

Are you feeling as though people aren’t hearing what you say? To paraphrase Henry David Thoreau, the greatest compliment anyone could pay me is that someone would ask what I thought and will then listen to me. My goal is to be the one that listens.

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That, however, would need to be true undivided attention, without distractions. The kind that can be seen in my eyes. Not forced attentiveness with a goal to just win friends and influence people.

Of all people, even when Jesus was being pressed in by the crowds, he still took the time to give undivided attention to the woman who touched his robe (Mark 5:30-34). He didn’t have to. She had already been healed. He could have kept on walking.

I have learned in my job that actively listening to people and asking about their stories can help you grow in understanding and give you the kind of joy that comes only by emotionally connecting with another human being. But that requires face-to-face interaction.

It also requires discipline and intentionality. That will more than likely require putting our phones away, limiting our TV viewing, and committing the time to visit with family and friends. I know this is not easy. I have to remind myself to be intentional about it all the time. That being said, I’m glad that the one TV series I allow myself to watch has ended for the season.

So, as we remind ourselves to “love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other,” who is willing to give genuine listening an intentional try with me? (Romans 12:10)

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