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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Listen Two Times

There was a conversation yesterday with some friends.  One of them has been in a difficult situation for some time.  This individual was sharing with the rest of us where they were in the process of dealing with the issues they were facing.  The group was actually meeting for another reason, but this person’s struggles were more important than what we planned to discuss.  The individual shared essentially uninterrupted for about 40 minutes; ok, the rest of us asked a couple of clarifying questions, but for the most part we just listened.
When our friends are sharing their struggles, we have to listen to them and to the Holy Spirit on how or if we should respond.
That has not always been my experience or my practice.  There have been times when I have shared some struggles and before I got the second sentence out I was being “fixed” by those with whom I was sharing.  I have been guilty of the same thing towards others who were sharing their struggles.  By God’s grace this time we listened to our friend.

Prof Hendricks has said over and over that God gave us an Audio Visual presentation when He gave us two ears and one mouth.  Think of the problems if that were reversed.  Perhaps we should listen twice as much as we speak?  James 1:19 reinforces that, quick to listen, slow to speak.  Proverbs 18:13 reinforces that concept strongly.  It seems to me that we have to listen at two levels.  We listen not only to what is being said by our friend, but we also need to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us about what is being shared.  He should guide our response if any.  Otherwise, we are just flapping our yap, in the flesh…

1 comment:

  1. Perceptive, helpful, convicting and necessary. Having one wife and four daughters has taught me at least theoretically if not well practiced that sometimes my solutions aren't needed at all. What is needed is the assurance that I have heard. Most other people are smart enough to know I don't know what to do anyway. But they still need to talk.

    This is a major theme in Job. He longed for his three friends to hear what he was saying rather then just drive their own irrelevant (and doctrinally wrong) agendas.

    At least Elihu listened; I think he quoted Job's words twenty-some times in his discourse. I've also been intrigued by situations such as Hezekiah's prayer in Isaiah 37:"O Lord Almighty, God of Israel.... Give ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God"