Listening discipline is vital to your effectiveness in life, relationship and business. It is one of the habits of self-discipline. As it is, listening is one of the lost arts of our time. And it has affected, damaged and ruined many lives, including nations of the world. The discipline of listening is one of the most required virtues of fulfilled living. “Listening requires more than hearing; it requires understanding the communication received.”
Related: The Habits of Self-Discipline
God wants us to listen faster and longer more than we speak. But for some of us, it’s the other way around. We speak faster and longer and listen a little. James 1:19NIV says,
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”
Personally, most best decisions of my life were made when I engaged the discipline of listening. Of course, some mistakes that costs me so much in life were also as the result of weakness in listening.
“We have two ears and only one tongue, in order that we may hear more and speak less”
Most people wonder why they don’t get their relationships right, but they have never considered their indiscipline art of listening. It’s impossible to develop a healthy relationship at any level and in any place without cultivating the discipline of listening.
“For any relationship to work, listening precedes understanding”
In fact, it’s impossible to get our relationship right with God except we become a disciplined listener in our conversations with Him. In his book, Tozer on Christian Leadership compiled by Ron Eggert says, “Where God and man are in relationship, this must be the ideal. God must be the communicator, and man must be in the listening, obeying attitude. If men and women are not willing to assume this listening attitude, there will be no meeting with God in living, personal experience….”
Although listening takes some effort on your part, it still remain your personal responsibility. The rewards of disciplined and active listening outweighs the effort involved. I will be dealing with how and importance of developing this attitude of listening in the next article.
“Listening is a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand” (Karl Menniger). It is time to start giving more attention to what God wants us to give attention to – listening or can I say, God’s approved listening.