Friday Devotional | October 9, 2020

Nobody listens anymore. There is a lot of talking going on. Frequently, we hear to reply. We ask to insinuate, ignite, and infuriate. We do not wait for a response to our agenda soaked questions. We already know what we are going to say before they say what they want to say. At least we think we do. Perhaps, we don’t care about what they are saying in the first place.

We cut off. We interrupt. We talk over and shout louder. Let me ask you, “When has shouting ever resulted in anything good?”

Do we truly think by speaking louder our points become clearer? They do not. Not in my experience and I have lived a good while and I intend—-I hope—-to live a good deal longer.

We ask, not so they can answer, but so we can reply. Convinced of our own standing, we strive to drive home our point, seal their fate, and render their rebuttal useless.

We talk at, not to. We hear, rarely. We listen, even less.

Let’s all take a collective deep breath and tune into the sounds around us.

5 Bible Verses About Listening

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.

Proverbs 18:13 (ESV)

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Matthew 11:15 (ESV)

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

Titus 3:1-2 (ESV)

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

James 1:19-20 (ESV)

10 Tips for Improved Listening

  1. Maintain direct eye contact with person speaking.
  2. Set aside and remove distractions.
  3. Focus your mind on what’s being said.
  4. Listen to ask better questions.
  5. Do not get ready for your rebuttal; simply listen fully to what’s being said.
  6. Nod and smile to communicate you are engaged in the conversation.
  7. Maintain an open body posture.
  8. Do not form judgment. Listen first.
  9. Be honest and open in your response.
  10. Treat the speaker with the same dignity and respect you desire to be shown.

Reflection Questions:

1. What if we paused before speaking, really listening to each other?

2. What are some effective techniques you use to listen better?

3. How can we engage our communities in healthy conversations about difficult topics without it turning into a shout fest?

4. What are some ways to leverage our conversations on social media for more positive, meaningful outcomes?

5. Does the vitriolic nature of the political debates discourage you from participating in the political process?

Prayer:

Father God, have mercy on us. Shower us with grace. Help us—-help me—-listen better. Help me bear good witness by guiding my tongue and directing my ears so that I might point people to Christ. Forgive me—-forgive us—Father, for falling short; Forgive us for not treating one another better. May we honor You in the dignity and love we show each other. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

May the Lord shine His favor on you and those you love.

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™

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6 thoughts on “Friday Devotional | October 9, 2020

  1. #1, in your list, is sometimes difficult for me. People who deal with social anxiety, plus those from certain cultures (Japan, Korea) are not always comfortable with too much eye contact. For me, it’s something I really have to be deliberate about. I suppose my point is: a lack of direct eye contact doesn’t necessarily mean someone is hiding something or disinterested in the conversation. Great post. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good point, David. Cultural backgrounds, mental health, and even personality can influence how we listen and engage in conversation. And listening certainly requires us to be intentional and deliberate. Thanks for reading and sharing your insights, David. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. When I was younger I did not listen well. I constantly interrupted people so I could get my two cents in. I listened only for the purpose of waiting for my turn. Today I try to be very mindful of listening, especially to my wife. It is important to me that she knows, not only did I listen to her, I heard her.

    Liked by 1 person

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