“Blah blah blah blah blah.” My best friend Jane was talking, but my mind was racing ahead on something else and I didn’t hear a word she said. Some of us have the habit of letting our minds go ahead of where our bodies are. We’re already thinking about the next thing and our focus strays from the present moment. Sometimes we just get lazy and let our minds wander off. But this isn’t a good thing, it isn’t being considerate of other people. And if we want to get really good at hearing from the Lord, we need to practice listening better to people, especially the ones we care about.
First John 4:20 says: “For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” Listening does take some real effort, especially if you know you’re not that good at it. People want to be heard. They want to have people interested in their lives. Listening is an act of love. There are more verses in the Bible about God listening to us, than verses saying we need to listen to Him. That’s because God IS Love and He’s an expert at listening. If we want to be more like Him, we have to want to be good listeners.
Here are a couple ideas that may help:
1. As soon as you can, after a conversation, go over the conversation in your mind and try to write down what the other person said. If you know you’ve missed some things, apologize and try to remember to ask them again later. Most people will forgive you and be glad you made the effort to ask again.
2. If you ask a question and you get an answer that’s complicated or you aren’t clear on the person’s answer, repeat it back to the person to see if you got it right.
These are two very simple and practical ways to build listening skills with people. But, we can also use these with the Lord. If you feel He’s telling you something, write it down. If you’re unclear on what He’s saying to you, repeat it back to Him. He’ll let you know if you got it. Remember, He loves you. He’s a great listener and He wants us to be great at it too.
“To live in the moment is a gift. That’s why they call it the present!”