Are You Listening?
…Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. – James 1:19-20
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Are you Listening?
Listening is a lost art in modern society. I often attend meetings and presentations during which a speaker is addressing a room full of people, while many are looking at their phones, or other devices, rather than listening to what is being said. We all are guilty of being in conversations when we were dedicating more time considering what we are about to say than truly listening.
Jim Henry is a friend and former pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando. On Sunday evenings long after services had concluded at the church Brother Jim was still there listening to people. He always listened intently and took to heart every word said. He made you feel he cared because he really did care and he really did listen.
The same is true of Mary Kay Ash. As a member of the Mary Kay Corporate Family I had the pleasure of being with her many times. She always took me by the hand, looked straight into my right eye, and intently listened to what I had to say. I will never forget how she made me feel valued even when I did not feel valued by many other people in my life. Her unstated message was that concentrated eye contact translates into purposeful communication. Like, Jim Henry she always made me feel important and cared for because I knew she was truly listening to me.
Recently my pastor, Bruce Chesser, shared a story about a well-known American doctor/surgeon. He admitted that there were times that he misdiagnosed cases. He said that in looking back on those cases honestly that the number one reason for misdiagnosis was that he did not listen fully to the patient’s story. The patient would begin to share their symptoms and he would hear enough to think that he had a grasp on it, and he would go from there. He stopped listening too soon. He said that as he matured and continued to learn and grow that one of the things that he learned to do better was to listen.
Most of us do not do a good job of listening. Good listening validates the other person. When people know that we are listening to them, they are more inclined to listen to us. It shows we really do care about them. When we respect them, they are more likely to respect us. Intent listening involves more than our ears. It involves our eyes, our body posture, and our brains. It involves fully applying ourselves to the other person. If they do not sense you are truly hearing what they are saying, they feel disrespected.
Good listening is also critical to our communication with God. For our relationship to be validated we must listen to God as much as we want Him to listen to us. He gave us the Holy Spirit to be our constant guide, but do we squander that gift by not intently listening to what He has so say to us.
I encourage you to begin the process of developing the art of good listening. Learn to put others ahead of yourself in the communication process. Show people you value them by focusing intently on what they are saying. Respect the person and listen to what they communicate even when you do not agree with them. If what they say requires action on your part, you can gauge that action based on accurate listening.
“My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” (James 1:19-20)
I have written a book entitled “Becoming Visible-Letting Go of the Things that Hide Your True Beauty” and now I am writing a blog that shares my heart with women everywhere.
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“A dream is a goal that is created within the heart.” - Sue McGray
Sue is a motivational speaker whose life was transformed by Christ. She wants to encourage and minister to other women who struggle with a lack of self-worth, fear, insecurity, self-doubt, shame, and regret.