How Is Your Listening Skillz?

You didn’t listen!  I seem to hear this phrase a great deal lately.  I hear it at work, my husband has said it to me and yes, I have said it at times too. In fact, I said it just the other day to my husband as we were running some errands.  Unfortunately, listening seems to be a lost art in our society.  How many of you have ever had someone stop and ask, “Hi, how are you”? And they move on before you can even answer the question.  It seems that everyone is so busy that we don’t really take the time to really talk to people.  We are too busy trying to cram one more thing into an already packed schedule.  Sometimes we just get too distracted.  We ask a question but don’t wait for a response even if we haven’t physically left, we have mentally checked out of the conversation.  I confess I am probably guilty of doing this to my family.  Other times, I am too busy planning what I want to say next to really pay attention to what the other person is saying.  We forget that listening is active; it requires that we concentrate on the person speaking.  We put aside our need to hurry and the things that distract us and really pay attention to someone else.  God says that we should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  Listening is critical if we want to learn about people.  People need to know that we value them, but they will never know that if we can’t really listen to what they are saying. Active, focused listening to people is one way that we show them we care about them and their opinion.  Today listen, really listen to those around you.  Some of them are hurting, lonely, struggling just waiting for someone to listen, really listen to what they are saying.  How is your listening skillz?

Father, as we go through our day,
help us to slow down, stop
and listen to the people around us.
Help us not to be in so much of a hurry
or too distracted
that we fail to really hear what others are saying
they may be crying out for someone to hear
what they are saying.

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