ARE YOU A GOOD LISTENER?
Real Relationships are formed while LISTENING.
The fact that God created us in a certain way – must tell us something about what He intended for us.
He gave us two ears and one mouth. Which means: – We should be listening twice as much as what we speak.
Even our ears, unlike our eyes and mouth do not have lids, they are to remain open. (Wow, how easily they close) I think many of us close them intentionally!
When our mouths open somehow our ears seem to shut. We can’t receive anything when we are giving our opinion.
One day a couple was watching TV, the wife was going out for shopping, before leaving she gave the husband the flyswatter to kill the flies.
When she came back she asked him how many flies did you kill? His reply: 5, 3 males and 2 females. Curiously she wanted to know how does he know which are males and which are females and he replied: “The 3 males were sitting on the remote control and the 2 females were on the telephone.”
James 1:19 (Amp)–Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving].
James is saying if we get the first 2 parts right the 3rd comes naturally.
Part 1 and 2 = Listen – Slow speak = 3rd part (slow anger)
God’s Kingdom principle on building relationship is to listen more than we speak.
How true is this: –
Talk and you say what you already know. Listen to this quote by Mark Twain: It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
Listen and you learn something new, when we listen with intent, we add value to our and others lives.
God is very serious about us controlling the balance between our mouths and our ears. More than once Jesus used this statement:
Let he who has ears to hear use them. (LISTEN)
– 8 times in the Gospels
– 8 times in the book of Revelation
It doesn’t just help having ears and not using them. When my ears used to be shut, my Mum would grab them and say (“hierdie is nie twee blom potte nie”)
I tell you, one of the least developed skills among us humans is that of listening.
There are really two different kinds of listening: –
There is natural listening, that is my interaction with other people.
There is Spiritual listening to HEAR the voice of the LORD. If we want to hear the Word and Will of GOD, we need to (Read the Word of GOD.) and be still( LISTENING)
The fact is, most people who get ahead in the Natural world and grow spiritually are good listeners, Intentional listeners.
We need to learn to listen and observe aggressively!
If we are going to have any success, we need to try harder to truly listen and not just hear.
Hebrews 2:1 For this reason [that is, because of God’s final revelation in His Son Jesus and because of Jesus’ superiority to the angels] we must pay much closer attention than ever to the things that we have heard, so that we do not [in any way] drift away from truth
Listening builds a good relationship with God firstly, then with friends and family.
Luke 8:11-15 -:11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
Matthew 17:5 – While (Peter) was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him.”
We should never stop “listening” to the word of God.
If you are listening you are learning.
If you are learning you are growing.
If and when we listen to the Word of GOD- we will grow into the image of GOD.
Matthew 11:29 – Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.
Notice Luke 8:8B –
When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
Jesus says it pays big time to learn from Him – Whether thruogh: – a sermon, a cell meeting, a DVD or YOU-Tube, a book, or actually spending time reading God’s word.
In Luke 8:11 – 15 Jesus spoke of 4 kinds of listeners.
In all 4 cases the seed is the same seed.
The sower is the same sower.
What made the difference if it’s not the message (seed) or the messenger (sower).
The difference is the “listener”. The way we listen!
By this parable Jesus is saying: –
75% of the world is not listening to God’s voice.
Whether the cause be: –
The hard-hearted listener
The shallow-hearted listener
The clutter-anxious hearted listener
Only 25% are really listening, growing and bearing fruit, retaining and applying what they hear.
Luke 8:18 – Therefore, consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”
How many times did you think, well that’s not for me – so you switch off – you hear but you don’t listen – Why? Because it’s for others.
You know these ear plugs us bikers use when we ride?
PRIDE can be like these ear plugs.
We need to always say, Lord how is this I’m hearing, first for my life and then only – pass it on to others. (Don’t be a selective listener.)
The second aspect of listening is as important as the first –
It’s listening in the natural
Interaction with others.
Studies have shown there are 4 basic styles of listening.
Story of the 80-year-old man: –
After lunch he went out for a walk for 20 min – 2 hours later he arrives home and apologises for being late – He said he met and old friend and stopped to talk to him and he just wouldn’t stop listening.
How do you fit into one of these 4 categories?
“The Judgemental Listener” – This person has his mind made up and doesn’t want to be confused by the facts. He is critical, negative and prejudiced. 17% of our population fall into this category.
“The Interrogative Listener” – This person thinks that good listening consists of continuously firing questions at the person. Questions are very important but this gets old quickly. 26% of all people use this approach.
“The Advice-Giving Listener” – More people fall in this category (35%). They only listen long enough to make a quick assessment and then they get to what they really want to do – offer unsolicited (uncalled for) advice. The problem with this approach is that you are so busy thinking about what advice you are going to give, that you don’t really listen. You aren’t hearing every thing they are saying.
“The Empathetic Listener” – EMPATHETIC = the ability to understand and share the feelings of another
This style is used by 22% of the population but it is by far the most effective. You listen to capture the feeling of the person you are listening to, not just the content of their words. You pay attention to tone, facial expressions, and body language. Try listening with your eyes this week. You may learn something new? You just might become a better friend or a better spouse?