Thoughts From Toby

Listening Well

“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.” --David Augsburger

Part of the call for the church today is to help bear one another’s burdens (see Galatians 6:2), and I believe that part of bearing one another’s burdens is learning the art of listening well. James reminds us that we are to be “quick to listen” (James 1:19). But this takes work. Have you ever been in conversation with another person, and while they are speaking, you are formulating your response in your head? This can cause a breakdown in communication because it can cause us to miss what they are actually saying. In all actuality, we do this all the time because we think faster than people speak. In a brief article I read this past week on marriage, the author asserted that healthy couples adopt the motto: “When you’re hurt, the world stops and I listen.” What if we, as Christians, adopted this motto with each other? How might that impact our relationships with one another? What if we truly sought to understand each other by actually listening to what the other is saying? May we come to learn that listening well is one of the best ways we can show our love for each other.