Saturday, March 8, 2014

Lenten Photo Challenge Day 4 - Listen

Have you ever felt like the cardinals here? Are they really listening to each other? A good listener is often the most important part of a conversation. Without someone listening, the speaker is simply talking to thin air! I hope God is not speaking to thin air when talking to me! How can I become a better listener?

Body language says a lot when a person listens to someone. As a teacher I gave advice to students on how to improve their listening skills in the classroom: look at the speaker; lean slightly toward the speaker; nod occasionally to show that you are listening (not that you agree with a statement); make eye contact periodically.  When these actions come together a speaker and listener can communicate through their body language.

Many times I felt that I was not focused when listening to God and His word. I realized that I was not practicing the skills of a good listener. If the speaker is God through prayer or the Bible, these skills can be very productive. Rather than simply hearing sounds, one can become an active listener to the Word.

*Look at the speaker - really take time to read the written word or when in prayer, face a focus point where you are not distracted by the surroundings.
*Lean slightly toward the speaker - hold the Bible in a comfortable, direct position or lean forward as if really listening to what God will tell you in prayer.
*Nod occasionally - this simple act makes the listener an active participant in the conversation. It also provides the opportunity to stop and reread something not understood.
*Make eye contact- Really look at the words as you read them, stop and look around to "digest" them, or you may want to look upward as praying.

Proverbs 20:12 - "The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both." Together they help a person listen.

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