If your life is anything like mine and you live, work, or breathe near other human beings, you’ve experienced the art of not listening.
Keep in mind that I’m not referring to the, trying to tell the three-year-old No, type of listening. I’m talking about genuinely not being heard.
We’ve all had the “listen to understand, not to respond” phrase thrown at us a couple million times, and please don’t get me wrong, there is so much truth and wisdom in that advice. However, in my heart this issue is so much bigger than what it seems.
In an age where we have been conditioned to believe that we should be able to do everything for ourselves, how could we possibly pause and re-train our minds to the concept that everything is not about us? Think of the last time you were trying to talk to someone about something that’s been heavy on your heart, or something that you’re struggling with. Okay, do you have it? Now think of how many times the response you get back is something like, “Oh I know! When that happened to me I….”
No empathy. No encouragement. No acknowledgement of your feelings, situation, or your subtle cry to be heard. The feeling that not only were they just waiting for you to stop talking so they could speak, but that everything somehow circles back around to being about themselves. (I’m guilty of both sides, BTW)
I wonder if we overlook the fact that we often treat God this way.
I know that I do. If we’re being real (which is my prayer; that we can always be honest with each other) I tend to rely on God the most when things aren’t going MY way. It’s when I seem to pray more, talk to Him more. But you know what I don’t do an awful lot of…listening.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10 NIV
Think of your life.
Each moment that passes.
How often are we still? Not just our physical bodies, but our minds, our souls. We’re all aware that prayer is a crucial component of our relationship with our Father, but what I think we’re missing is that a crucial part of prayer is LISTENING to God. Being still, silent, and waiting for direction.
Guys, we can’t do this on our own! It’s the biggest misconception that we can fall victim to. If we cannot do it ourselves and be self-sufficient, we feel like we’ve failed – How untrue!
What a victory it is to know that we are N E V E R alone. We’re never going to have to face the trails of this world on our own. That’s all God wants. He wants us to trust Him. He wants us to depend on Him. He wants us to be still, and listen.
He wants to be enough. When God is all that we need, and we don’t long for attention and recognition, the conversational competition stops. The “one-up” concept is eliminated. Wait…when someone tells me a story I don’t have to come back with a better one? A more funny one? A more dramatic one? I can finally listen.
Lets send ’em up…
You’re SO much more than enough for us. We know that the things of this world will never suffice. I pray that each day we don’t “try to be better” but rather that we slow down, be still and listen for You. We desperately seek Your guidance God. Help us to recognize when we aren’t listening, and instill in us the grace to walk and love like Jesus. We love and adore You. In Jesus’ name
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