Listening, if it matters

May 21, 2021

Scripture Resource Passage: Romans 14

When self-deluded individuals believe they know more than most, we end up with a world east of Eden. Living beyond the Garden can be a most miserable place (Genesis 3:24).

Many writers have captured this truth and in the 20thcentury few were clearer, or manifested more marketplace savvy, than Charles Schultz. His comic-editorials in the Sunday funnies relayed scriptural truths with carefully placed barbs. Often the words and the drawings featured an enigmatic character—Lucy Van Pelt. 

Lucy liked to talk while asserting, protesting and calling on others to follow her ways. She was not as strong with active-listening. Little wonder she was often on the edges of the Peanuts community living a sad, isolating and non-Eden-like life. This will be true for each of us when we choose primarily to talk rather than listen.

Listening comes as a highly recommended spiritual discipline for in one way active-listening helps us in learning to accept one another. The letter to the disciples in Rome provides this encouragement: “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7).  

There are numerous resources on the web which identify the skills of active-listening. Some are purely humanistic sources but actively-listening to them provides perspective. Actively-listening to another person is a sacred spiritual discipline. Disciples believe each person has value before God. If God will hear them, should we block them out by being inattentive? All together now, say, “No, we should listen carefully.”

Life Applications

  • Imitating Christ’s love of people: Do I demonstrate my willingness to show others acceptance by deeply listening when they are speaking? 
  • When you reflect on your interactions with others, were you talking more than actively-listening?
  • What is your spiritual experience when someone carefully listens to you?

Thank you for reading. Please send in your comments and suggestions. Blessings to each of you.

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

2 thoughts on “Listening, if it matters

  1. As the old feller would say, “Now you’ve quit bloggin’ and gone t’ meddlin’!”

    Spot on ‘word’ (as usual). brother: Be well!


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