Learning to Listen

January 24, 2014

Ever have someone say something to you & it spoke straight to your heart? Then not long after, someone or something else confirmed that message with a similar message?

Well, today is that day for me & my friend Holley was the first voice to speak to my heart.  Below is her post today:

After reading Holley’s post, I ran across the following quote, which spoke very similar words:

listen

As I’ve said several times, in previous posts, I am a Type-A personality.  The fortunate part of this quality is that I am a passionate & loving do-er & fixer.  The unfortunate part of this quality is that I haven’t mastered the art of listening.  It’s not that I’m too busy to listen. It’s not that I don’t care enough to listen. It’s not that I’m mean when I’m not listening and it’s certainly not that I don’t try to listen… I simply haven’t mastered the art of actually doing it!

As a loving do-er & fixer, I have been God-gifted with the ability to identify a problem quickly, and often come up with a solution just as quickly.  The down-side to this quality in my relationships, is that I tend to jump into “fix-it” mode in my conversations with people, instead of just listeningIn no way do I intend to cause harm or hurt to people, but I suppose, without them telling me so, I do just that.  Like Holley says, it’s in these moments when my heart’s desire to help is misunderstood and perceived as not caring, because I’m not listening. {tears} To be misunderstood is a painful thing, but again as Holley says, at least in being misunderstood, I’m taking a stand! I’m doing something! I’m not afraid! However, now that I know this is an area God is wanting to change, I want to allow Him to make that change.  Having received these very clear reminders about listening today, I think it’s time to make some very big strides at improving this area of my life.

The first thing for me to do is communicate better.  When a friend starts talking about a problem or situation, instead of jumping into “fix-it” mode, I need to stop and ask them if they need me to listen, or if they need my help finding a solution.  Asking this will empower me to be a better listener, because it equips me with the knowledge that my listening skills are needed in this moment.  If I am asked to help find a solution and I have one, then I can offer it. Otherwise, I can just relax and listen.

When I think about the best listeners in my own life {my Mom is the best!}, these are the qualities I love the most:

  • They listen intently & aren’t distracted; they give me their full attention
  • They acknowledge my feelings, emotions & thoughts
  • They don’t correct me, or make me feel as if what I’m feeling/experiencing is wrong
  • They encourage, encourage, encourage
  • They vocalize their love for me
  • They pray with me

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning,and let the discerning get guidance”

Proverbs 1:5

 “To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.”

Proverbs 18:13

Whoever has ears, let them hear.
Matthew 11:15 NIV

How about you?

Do you have a hard time listening or are you a really good listener? I would love to receive any words of wisdom or encouragement you may have!

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  1. Mary on January 24, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    What a wonderful reminder…I needed to hear this today!

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Satin Pelfrey

Satin is a writer, wife and stepmom encouraging others through the hard days, bringing the Scriptures alive through life-application and drawing them closer to Jesus.

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