I don’t like to listen. I never have been the best at it. I know some of you know me and know that I can be a good listener but I will tell you it takes a tremendous amount of work. I, like many extroverted men, want to solve problems and think I have all the answers. It makes it hard at times to listen.
So the question I have been asking myself is how am I doing. Am I listening to my wife, my kids, my coworkers, my friends, my students? The answer all too often is no. I know I should but just don’t do it. I am reminded often when I think about listening, about Jesus’ ability to listen. I know the scripture is full of stories about him jumping into action and about him teaching. Lately however I have been noticing the instances where he is listening in the gospel lessons. (John 4) I am struck by how often he listens. He listens to their gripes, complaints, needs and wants and then responds with more questions and answers to understand them. He was a very good active listener, and springs into action to help them in their need. I want to be more like Jesus.
In a world today that almost always seems to spring to action first or just plain forgets to listen to the other side I would say. Maybe we all just need to listen to each other a little more. When you think about relationships, politics, family and all the people around you, maybe you should think about listening more and acting less. I know I need to start.