“Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: 'This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!'” (Mark 9:7).
A heart full of love listens first to the Lord. There is a humility that remembers God created two ears and one mouth for a reason. The tongue untempered by love is a prime target for the tempter, Satan himself. However, love longs to listen and understand what Christ says, before making conversation. Words incubated in a heart of love have a positive affect on hearers. Love listens to Jesus before jumping to judgment.
We need the words of our heavenly Father to work out our wrong thinking, before we share potentially abrasive words. For example, we pause during family conflict to contemplate Christ’s teaching to be peacemakers. We become a voice of reason and patience where angry words have broken trust and erased respect. We listen to both sides and then offer solutions based on forgiveness and an ongoing process of godly counsel.
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).
Furthermore, listen to others even when you don’t feel you are being heard. Your patient love does not have to make its point, because listening to and understanding the other person’s viewpoint is more important. As you lovingly listen you learn, from friends and enemies alike. Your quieted spirit becomes a student of anyone you meet. Perhaps you learn kindness from a cashier or acceptance from a greeter. Love listens and learns.
Love is slow to speak and quick to listen. It doesn’t seek to impress people with its smart and clever speech. Instead, it carries a conversation with emotional comfort and caring words. You are most comfortable in your own skin when your goal is to first listen to the Lord and then His precious children. Lovingly listen, and some will invite your influence into their life. Consecrate your conversations to Christ and He will speak.
“But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:2).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to lovingly listen to You and Your children.
Related Readings: Deuteronomy 30:20; Isaiah 55:3; Proverbs 10:19; James 1:19, 2:5