|Two cups of coffee…perfect for any good listening sesh! (via Pinterest)|
If you were to look at me and assign me labels there are some that might come easily to those who know me even a little: wife, daughter, sister, bargainista, Wahoo, wannabe foodie, Bachelor fan, and dance party enthusiast. One label that would not be quickly assigned to me? A good listener.
Ya’ll, it’s amazing I actually have friends, because I’m a horrible-no-good-very-bad listener. Often, I’m zoning out, multitasking, interrupting, or too busy thinking of the next thing I’m going to say to actually pay attention to what others say.
This morning, in my fabulous book The Resolution for Women, Priscilla Shirer talks about how our listening can be a gift that we give to others. (If you keep reading Long to Love you won’t even need to buy the book, since apparently I like to provide weekly summaries…but I can’t help it; it’s SO good!)
To illustrate this, she talks about Jesus and what a faithful and devout listener he was to even the most unnoticed, insignificant people. But they weren’t unnoticed to him, Jesus cared and he listened.
Today, in my own faith, I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have a God who listens to me no matter what. And I assure you, I take him up on it:
“God, this is hard…”
“God, she is horrible…”
“God, I don’t want to do this…”
“God, help me…”
I tell you, with all of my whining and complaining, I can’t even believe God even puts up with me, but I’m beyond grateful that he does. With everything else that he has going on, I can’t believe he actually takes time to listen to me, validate me, and comfort me. What a gift!! The Bible even tells us to “cast all our cares upon him, because he cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7…which is actually someone’s memory verse for May!)
In the same way God gifts us with an attentive ear, we can bless others with our listening ear, as Priscilla concludes:
“Listening is one of the most significant ways He blesses us. Therefore, quite predictably, it’s one of the key ways we can bless others.”
“So choose to listen. Resist the urge to criticize, insult, laugh, or make sarcastic remarks. Battle the press of time and urgency and the hunger to get away. Just lean in, quietly, emphatically, purposefully. And listen. It’s your gift. Your blessing. Give it to whomever you can.”
Not only is a listening ear something we’re gifted with when we enter into a relationship with God, but it’s also a gift that we can freely and willingly offer up to others so, listen up!