Listening.

June 15, 2007 at 10:13 am 2 comments

I typed the word listening into Yahoo! search and it was amazing to me the amount of information available on the subject of listening.  As you might expect there are multiple web sites about listening and volumes of information on the subject, most I would think don’t get looked at.  There is even a band in Portland, Oregon called The Listening.  Listening seems important based on the volume of information about it.

One source talked about three types of listening: Competitive listening or combative listening.  We all know about this one, basically waiting for the other person to breath before we pounce in to tell them what we think of whatever they were saying.  I think this used to be called arguing or fighting.  Competitive listening sounds better.  Attentive or passive listening.  These are the really nice people who listen and smile and nod and encourage and say uh huh and yes and smile and nod and well you get the idea.  Passive listening.  I think I did that one time.  I really didn’t care for it.  Active or reflective listening.  This is supposed to be the best kind of listening.  This is what my counselor does. I talk, he listens.  I say something and he says “how did that make you feel” or “how did that work out for you” and sometimes he says “you really said that?!” then he says “I will see you next week”.  (Just joking Jeff you are the best!!)

The Bible is pretty big on listening.  The words listen or listening are used almost 700 times.  Proverbs points out it’s value several times including this: Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish. (18:13)  I like how the Proverbs are so subtle.  James had some good stuff on listening which is pretty well known but not often practised: You must be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. (1:19)  I think I learned that one wrong, I thought it was slow to listen, quick to speak because I am angry. Probably not.

I love what Jesus said about listening: To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given and they will have an abundance of knowledge.  But for those who are not listening even what little understanding they have will be taken away. (Matthew 13:12)  Seems important to listen.

I have been pretty hard on the leaders of the church I used to serve because from my point of view they did not seem to be listening to me or my family or for that matter to many of you.  But if I am going to be critical in this space I also must be fair and report positive things when they happen.  Yesterday two different leaders in two different settings spent seven hours mostly listening to me.  I have wanted for months for my side of the story and my journey to be heard and yesterday it was. 

What changes because of their listening only time will tell but I am grateful these two men took a ton of their time, they didn’t have to take, and they listened.  

Listening works.

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Entry filed under: Church, Culture, Faith, Friendship, Holy Spirit, Revelation, The Father, Thoughts.

Not fully woven. Hostile to church, friendly to Jesus.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ron Marrs  |  June 15, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Yeah!

  • 2. Debbie  |  June 15, 2007 at 10:51 am

    God is so good and so faithful and I am so glad that you were given the opportunity you had been praying for. You and Linda are great people and although I’m sorry for the pain and suffering that you have gone through, I rejoice in the fact that God sent you our way! I appreciate the openess and honesty of your blog and I look forward to reading it each day. Blessings ~

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