Are You Listening?

By Blesson Mathew, Partnership Coordinator

We all always have something to say, whether it be an opinion or even a fact, we have things we would love to share and express. Despite being taught the importance of listening from a young age (just think about how many teachers have asked you to “put your listening ears on”), the truth is, most of us aren’t as good at listening as we should be. 

On a study done by listening experts, it is said we all have a good listener within us… it simply depends on the ability and desire to be mindful of where we are and who we are talking to. A lot of us are focused on the physical mechanics of listening (eye contact, nodding our head, etc.) but aren’t intellectually engaging with the content. Or maybe we are someone who loves to give an answer or solution before someone even finishes talking. Or what about when the person you are listening to is talking about something you don’t agree with? When was the last time you heard and actually listened to someone without saying a word or interrupting them?

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. – Proverbs 18:13

The Bible has countless verses on how important it is to listen. In New York I have come to realize people just want to be heard, and I’m confident this is the case everywhere. As humans, we crave someone who will hear, and fully hear, the words we are desperately trying to communicate. Research shows the average person listens with only 25% efficiency… which means there is a lot we are letting go in one ear and out the other. This made me think: if God wanted to speak to me through others or He himself was speaking to me, there’s a good chance I would totally miss it since I am too focused on the mechanics and what I want to say in response.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19

My challenge to you is to become a fervent listener. You will be amazed how much trust and comfort you can give to others by just listening. We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.

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