I read a book the other day and in one small part of it they discussed listening. Something I figured I was pretty good at seeing that I am going into counseling. As I read more about it I became convicted...
Listening intells giving your whole attention (Eyes, ears, mind, heart) to one person, yet not saying a thing.
How often does that happen? I have girls who come into my dorm room and pour their heart out. How quick am I to give them adivce? Oh so quick... Yes, it may be what they need to hear and it may point them back to God, but have I really done my job as a friend? I really believe I havent. People just need someone to listen and care. I may care when i give them advice, but does it show that I care or does it just show that I know what they need to do? My old roomate is the best at listening. I can ramble and ramble and she just sits quietly, completely focused on me, nods so that I know she is keeping up, but yet hardely ever gives advice. Btw, she is also my maid of Honor.. Wonder why?! :)
What does true listening look like? I believe that it starts with putting the phone down... looking the person in the eyes... and shutting your mouth. I dont have to add in things or ask questions. There will be a time for that. Now they need to be able to tell what they want to tell, how they want to tell it and when they want to. More than anything true listening says, "I care about you and value you." When was the last time someone really listened to you like this? Sadly, probably not tht recently. Yes, people listen, but not passionately.
I challenge you as well as myself to care... to truly listen to our sisters in Christ... They matter.