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July 30, 2018 Daily Devotion from Vernon UMC

Devotional at Vernon UMC

Why are You

Not Listening to Me?

30 JUL 2018

"...My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..."
~ James 1:19

We often think about improving our relationships by changing what we say to others. We pay less attention to the fact that we also can change what we hear. Listening is the other half of the communication equation. We speak while others listen, and we listen while others speak. Except for when we don't listen. Listening mindfully is more complicated than you might think.

One of the best ways to show that you truly love someone and care is to listen to them. When someone starts talking to you, they're inviting you to walk with them, to go where they're going, to journey with them for a short time. Maybe it's not your first choice of conversation, maybe you're in a hurry and you feel like you don't have time. Stop and take the time to invest in someone else's story, be an example of God's love and let his light shine through you by simply listening.

We need to be ready to listen to people whenever they're ready to talk. You might have to give up lunch at work, skip your workout, or miss your favorite show (whew . . . thank goodness for DVR). The point is, God asks us to represent him to others. And God always, always, has time to listen wholeheartedly when we are ready to talk to him. Let's be that light in a lonely, techno driven world.

Father, I need your wisdom on effective listening. More than once, people who love me have indicated their frustration with my listening skills—or worse, my commitment to take what they say seriously.

You've given me two ears and one mouth, and the anatomical ratio is no mere accident. Help me become a much more engaged, attentive listener. Help me hear what people are meaning to say, not what interpretation I place on their words. Help me to listen with my heart, not just with my ears.

Jesus, no one does this better than you. No one is more quick to listen. I never have to snap my fingers to get your attention. I never have to reel you back into focus. I never catch you looking away, as though you're bored with me. I never have to repeat myself several times to make sure you heard what I actually said.

You never interrupt me. You never spin what I'm saying. You never talk over me when I'm trying to tell you something. You never finish my sentences for me, though you could. There's no one who listens as attentively, respectively, and compassionately as you.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen.

Be encouraged and stay strong; be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Peace, Love & Joy

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