Listen Up! Practical Help for Lousy Listeners

The Gospel Coalition | 7/18/2019 | Deepak Reju
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Are you a bad listener? What would your spouse or best friend or children say about you? People tend to think much more highly of themselves than they actually deserve.

So what would you say: Are you a good or bad listener?

Practices - Traits - Listening - Impatience - Listening

There are several practices and traits that can derail good listening. Impatience leads to shoddy listening. An impatient listener is not able to appreciate or be fully engaged in her present circumstances. She is not willing to hear her friend out. She interrupts or cuts him off. In her impatience, she communicates that she doesn’t care about what her friend has to say.

Another killer of conversations is tiredness. In a fast-paced society, people don’t rest much. Little or no sleep means you’re already exhausted when you begin to talk, which doesn’t usually lead to true conversation. Think about your listening abilities during a Sunday morning sermon. How much do you zone out, especially when you’re bored with what the pastor is saying? It’s easy for the mind to wander to other things—work, what you’re doing that afternoon, a conversation with a friend that morning. The tendency to be easily distracted makes for bad listening.

Others - Thought - Tongue - Things - Person

Or you might tend to interrupt others before they finish talking. Your thought is so pressing—and your tongue is so loose—that you blurt things out before the other person is even done speaking. Impatience, tiredness, zoning out, interrupting—these are just a few of the things that can lead to poor listening.

Do any of these descriptions fit you?

Picture - Fool

Consider the biblical picture of a bad listener—the proverbial fool.

A biblical fool is one who doesn’t listen and therefore doesn’t understand. Instead, he speaks too quickly. In Proverbs 18:2, the fool finds pleasure only in saying what he wants to say. Because of his pride or selfishness or lack of love,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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