I tend to always think of myself as a good listener. People come to me when they have problems, or just need to vent. However, each time I teach Interpersonal Communications and Listening Barriers, I learn that yes indeed I am not perfect at listening. I struggle with all sorts of barriers: emotion ones, selective hearing, criticizing the speaker…the list could go on for a while.
“13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” – Eph. 1:13-14
If we are followers of Christ, we have all heard the message of truth, but have we listened to it? Truly? Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to whisper quietly in our ear (or in some cases screaming when appropriate… 🙂 ), and nudge us to be more holy. I often forget about this gift. I go about my day without calling on the power that He offers me through the Holy Spirit. The thing about the Holy Spirit is, he is always there, whispering quietly to our souls; we just have to stop and listen.
Today, ask the Holy Spirit to be present, and to whisper in your ear during your time. Pray through some areas where you feel like God has been silent, but maybe you need to listen better. Pray through or jot down some ideas for how to overcome those listening barriers, and how to listen more to God.
Have more time? Want to go deeper?
- What does the Bible have to say about listening? Look up some verses in a concordance about listening, and ask God to speak to you through them. Apply what you hear to your life.
- There is a distinct difference in hearing versus listening. We can hear something all day long, but it won’t hit our hearts or even our brains until we process it, and understand it (listening). Is there a topic or a person you struggle to listen to? What is it? How can you listen better?