The item I’m taking today’s post from is one found on Facebook with no attribution given.  The ideas come straight from Scripture, however.  I printed this and put it in plastic so I could hang it on my ‘prayer wall’ in my bathroom.  It’s been there for a while, reminding me to put the precepts into practice in my life.  It’s amazing how you can read something every day and still walk away and forget it.  However, I want to go a bit deeper with this.  The plan is to share 1 or 2 over several days until we get to 10 in the “Ten ways to love”.

Hearing

Hearing (Photo credit: Keturah Stickann)

1.  Listen without interrupting.  Proverbs 18:13  13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

At first glance, finding the connection to love may be difficult, but if you’ve ever been in a situation where someone kept interrupting you or didn’t really listen, you’ll understand.  As a grandmother, I truly understand this.  You see, when we’re raising our children, we’re usually quite self-absorbed unaware busy.  We try to listen to them, but countless times, we just don’t.  When it comes to grandchildren, however, life has generally slowed down a bit, and we’ve learned a few things about what’s really important in life.  One reason grandparents are so important to a child is that they take the time to actually listen to them–without interrupting.

Listen to me Grandma

My granddaughters will plop down next to me and start talking about something that happened at school (or millions of other topics).  I may have been busy, but I stop and listen to them.  I do this because I love them, and I know how important it is to them to have me really listen.  There are occasions when I have to ask them to wait a minute while I finish something, but they know I’m not going to get caught up in my stuff and forget about them.  They put on shows for me as well.  The shows involve singing, dancing, and whatever else they think off.  I’ve learned to limit them to three shows at a time, but during their show, they have my undivided attention.  Children (and adults) equate listening with love.

Listening blocks
(composit pictures from morguefile.com)

Oh, yeah, I know just what you’re sayingWhen we converse with others (family or not), the tendency to try to guess what they’re trying to say or to plan our next statement rears its ugly head.  We’re not really listening, and we certainly have not really understood their words.  I’ve been there, and I’m guessing you have to.  You’re trying to tell something (important or not) and the other person clearly is not listening.  Today, we often see them checking their phone as we talk.  As a distractable person, I have to plan to focus.  When teaching, I have to be very careful not to get distracted when a student is speaking to me.  It’s not easy, but I know that student will judge whether I care or not by my ability to actually listen.

Well, if I were you . . .

Then there’s the times when I make a statement (usually in support of/against something or someone) when I haven’t heard the whole story – EMBARRASSING!!!  It’s amazing how quickly I can back-peddle when this happens.  A few embarrassing (and hurtful to others) moments has taught me well that I should make sure I understand all aspects of a matter before opening my mouth.  Have you ever experienced this?

How about God?

Do you really listen to Him?  Our prayers often resemble a litany of wants or us doing all the talking with no listening involved.  God speaks to us in several ways, but how often do we listen, really listen?  I confess:  I’m guilty!  We can love God by actually listening to Him (and obeying what we hear).  If anyone deserves our attention, it is God!

What about you?

Do you listen without interrupting?  Do you listen without allowing distractions to pull you away?  Does the person speaking know you’re listening?  Do you interrupt, plan your next statement, check your phone (or even text/take a call), or something else that tells the person speaking:   I do not really care about you enough to listen.   Maybe some of you have pointers on how to listen well (or posts you could share a link to).  Do you think listening without interrupting shows love?  I await your feedback and comments. 🙂

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