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Listening

posted Mar 18, 2014, 10:20 AM by First Baptist

 

I’m finishing up my 40-day journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer,* which was part of the mission team’s preparation for going to Haiti. (I’d gotten a late start on the devotional.)

 

In this morning’s devotional, Bonhoeffer addressed the subject of listening, He wrote: “The FIRST service one owes to others in the community [of faith] involves listening to them. Just as our love for God begins with listening to God’s Word, the beginning of love for other Christians is learning to listen to them.”

 

He then concluded his thought with this: “Christians who can no longer listen to one another will soon no longer be listening to God either.”

 

Why do some of us find it so difficult to listen to other people?

 

One possibility is arrogance and self-centeredness; the idea that the other person has nothing interesting or important to say WHILE I DO. Another possibility is busyness (or perceived busyness). This too includes some arrogance because impatience while another person is speaking implies that my agenda is more important that his.

 

The devotional promoted me to think of some people in my life who really took the time to listen to me at key moments. My wife, certainly; she’s a wonderful listener. And then there were two brothers in my Wichita church: Ron Rogg and Ed Hett. Both great listeners! I thank God for them.

 

This morning I asked God to help me be a better listener and to give that gift to those I come into contact with. The Holy Spirit then brought somebody to mind.  I called this person and invited him to lunch. He had recently said something in passing and I told him “I would like to hear more about that if you care to talk about it.” He readily accepted the invitation. (I forgot to tell him that he’s buyingJ)

 

Here was the suggested prayer for today:

 

“Dear Lord, may I have the grace to listen to You and learn from You; may I also have the grace to listen to and learn from others.”

 

With love,

 

Pastor Dan

 

*I highly recommend this 40-day devotional. It’s entitled “40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” published by Augsburg Books. Soon, I’ll begin a journey with Martin Luther. That should be interesting as well.

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