As an elementary school music teacher, I feel like one of my main jobs is to teach my students to listen to each other. It is a skill every good musician must possess. When players don’t listen to the other instruments or voices around them, the end result is not very good. The individual parts stick out and there is no cohesiveness to the sound. When my students begin to listen, and they hear how good their music sounds, I can see the surprise and delight in their faces. They get it.
I sometimes feel that way about my life. When I stop being so consumed with my own fears and concerns and I listen to the people and things around me, I see things I’ve never seen before. I enjoy the people around me more. At times I sense God drawing my attention to details. I see people I need to pray for. He reminds me of Scripture. And I gain valuable insight.
Listening is a powerful, yet underrated skill. We are often too quick to give an opinion or an answer to a problem. I’ve been in too many conversations where I wonder if the other person is listening to me at all, or are they just waiting for their turn to talk. Does God ever feel that way about us? God’s Word promises that if we listen more, we gain more.
Lord, teach me to listen more and talk less. Amen.
Go Deeper — In our social media world, don’t be so quick to post an opinion or react to someone else’s post. Stop and listen to what may be behind the words.
Photo Credit: Johannes Plenio