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Tag Archives: Listening

  • The Gift of Listening

    Posted on August 20, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray." Psalm 17:6 (NLT)

    One night I heard my husband calling our dog to get her treat. He was actually trying to lure Chelsea, our thirteen-year-old dachshund, to her doggie bed. She was in her favorite chair and nothing was getting her to budge, not even the promise of a treat.

    I asked my kids if they thought Chelsea had "selective hearing" because she didn't want to go to bed or if she was going deaf. I had a feeling it was the latter.

    We reminisced and laughed about how Chelsea used to hear every little thing, from the icemaker in our kitchen to a leaf blowing outside. Then my son Andrew, who was nine at the time, looked at me with great concern. "Mom, I hope when you get old you don't go deaf like Chelsea."

    I laughingly told him it might be good if I can't hear everything when I get as old as Chelsea. She gets a lot more sleep, and she's not offended by the doggy jokes we make about her advanced age.

    My light-hearted response didn't wipe the concern off his brow, so I asked why he was afraid I wouldn't be able to hear him. He answered without hesitation, "Well, sometimes you don't hear me now. Like when you're on the computer and I ask you a question."

    Ouch! I had no idea my child thought I couldn't hear him. His answer almost sent me on a bad-mommy guilt-trip. Flashbacks popped up from times I'd heard him but hadn't listened because my focus was on someone or something else, like the computer and TV.

    Instead of defining that moment with guilt, I pulled Andrew close and told him I was sorry for not listening sometimes. I explained how me being on the computer is similar to him watching a movie. He gets so involved he doesn't hear me call him for dinner. He smiled recognizing his own "hearing loss" at times.

    Still, I didn't want that to be my excuse. So I promised him I would try to stop what I am doing when he comes to me. In my heart, I committed to look away from my computer or phone to really listen. His comment made me realize, we all long to be heard, don't we?

    Psalm 17:6 reflects our desire for God to hear us. The psalmist wrote, "I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray." It reminds me that in the same way I go to God because I want Him to listen and answer me, my child and others come to me because they want me to listen to them. When I stop what I'm doing and listen, it tells them that they, and what they have to say, are important to me.

    In our culture of constant contact through technology, it's easy for our attention to be divided and our focus to shift away from those who are in the room with us.

    Although we are physically present, often times we are mentally absent.

    That night God showed me the valuable gift we can give our children, spouses, friends, co-workers and even strangers. It's the gift of listening.

    We give it each time we stop what we're doing and turn our full attention to others when they talk to us. And, it's a gift God gives to us each time we talk to Him too!

    Lord, thank You for listening to me. Please help me be a better listener. It's easy to hear with one ear while the other is turned toward my computer, television or cell phone. I want to give the gift of listening because it communicates that I value those who want me to hear them. Make me aware and willing to push past this habit so that I can be a listener like You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    A Life That Says Welcome, Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others by Karen Ehman

    The NIV Real Life Devotional Bible for Women with 366 devotions written by the Proverbs 31 Ministries team on everyday life.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Ask God to show you throughout the day how you are doing when it comes to really listening to those you live and work with.

    Make a list of people you will give the gift of listening to this week.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 54:2, "Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth." (NIV)

    Luke 2:46, "After three days they found him [Jesus] in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm, Listening

  • Are You Hearing?

    Posted on February 26, 2013 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn Cowell

    "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." Romans 10:17 (NIV)

    With a very busy day ahead of me, a dark cloud of stress was hanging overhead. I had written my "to-do" list, and asked the Holy Spirit to help me hear His timeline for when I should get everything done.

    Getting ready to tackle number one on my list, I felt an impression on my heart, "Start with worshipping Me." At first I thought, I don't really have time for that. But peace came as I acknowledged I didn't have time not to worship Him.

    Setting my list aside, I turned on worship music in my living room. As I listened to scriptures woven throughout the lyrics, I saw again how His Word was exactly what I needed to start my day.

    This year, I am purposing to listen. Dictionary.com defines listen as: to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing.

    To listen, I have to be focused on hearing, purposefully and selectively, because what I hear has the power to change to me.

    Romans 10:17 says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." (ESV)

    When I hear God's Word, whether it is spoken, set to music or taught, my faith will grow. I need, then, to put myself in a place where I can hear (not just read silently) God's Word. I've begun to look for new ways to hear Scripture.

    One of those ways is reading the Bible out loud. This has a few great benefits. I stay awake (a serious consideration when it's early in the morning or late at night!). Anyone who hears me also gets to hear God's Word! And my faith is built.

    When little children first learn how to read, what does their teacher make them do? Read out loud. Why? Hearing builds comprehension; it helps us understand the material better.

    The same is true when it comes to reading God's Word. "Faith comes by hearing." Reading out loud helps build our comprehension of what Scripture is telling us, as well as our faith. This is good for us and our children!

    We can read the Bible out loud to children or better yet, have them read to us! Even if just for a small pocket of time: on the way to school, after dinner, before bed, or coming home from sports practice.

    Keep a Bible in the car, by your kitchen table, or near the TV. I once heard a great author say he grew up in a home with books everywhere. In every room, on every table, there was a book. It became a natural thing to just pick them up and see what each page held! Let's do the same with God's Word and make it easily accessible.

    Hearing God's Word is important. Let's start listening today by turning on some praise music, reading Scripture out loud and listening to sermons. Our faith will begin building quickly!

    Lord, I need to build my faith for all that You have given me in this life. Holy Spirit, whisper to me, showing me pockets of time when I can hear Your Word for myself and for my children too. Amen

    Related Resources:
    Do you need a resource to help a teen girl in your life build her faith through hearing God's Word? Lynn Cowell's new book Devotions for a Revolutionary Year - 365 Days of Jesus' Radical Love for You can help you do just that! Short devotionals, only 2-3 minutes each, can go a long way in helping her learn God's truth.

    Reflect and Respond:
    When are you currently hearing God's Word? Church services, online sermons, radio broadcasts?

    Power Verses:
    Colossians 3:16, "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." (NIV)

    1 Thessalonians 2:13, "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Romans, Listening

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