Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place, Osoyoos
Pulpit Series Volume 22, Issue 9      March 25, 2012

A wise man once said that there is a good reason why we have two ears and one mouth; we were meant to use them in that proportion.

However, knowing we need to listen more and better, is not enough.

“I know that you believe you understand what
you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize
that what you heard is not what I meant.”

Why is listening important?

The average person interrupts after listening for only 17 seconds.

What would happen if we listened actively and waited respectfully for the person we're talking with to finish his or her thought?

Proverbs 20:12
“The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both.”

Matthew 13:15
“For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

Matthew 13:16
“But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”

There are three levels of listening:

Half Listening
  • Paying attention some; tuning out some
  • Focusing on your reaction
  • Commenting to others
  • Waiting for a chance to break in
  • Distracted by thoughts and what’s going on around you
  • Doodling or texting
Sound Listening
  • Hearing the words, but not the meaning behind them
  • Missing the significance of the message
  • Responding with logic only
Active Listening
  • Ignoring distractions
  • Ignoring delivery quirks and focusing on the message
  • Making eye contact
  • Being aware of body language
  • Understanding the speaker’s ideas
  • Asking clarifying questions
  • Recognizing the speaker’s intent
  • Acknowledging the emotion involved
  • Responding appropriately
  • Remaining engaged even when taking notes

Three Keys to Developing Active Listening

Keep an open mind
  • Focus on the speaker’s ideas, not on the delivery
  • Give the speaker your full attention
  • Resist forming an opinion until you’ve heard everything
  • Don’t let the speaker’s quirks, mannerisms, speech patterns, personality, or appearance get in the way of listening
  • Stay focused on the central ideas being communicated
  • Listen for the significance of the message
Ignore distractions
  • Be fully present
  • Make sure your phone is silenced or turned off
  • Tune out any chatter around you, or politely tell the talkers that you’re having trouble listening
  • Avoid outside distractions
  • Set aside all emotional issues you brought with you
  • Know your own hot buttons and don’t allow yourself to respond emotionally to issues being presented
  • Make eye contact with the speaker
  • Nod to show understanding
  • Ask clarifying questions
  • Maintain body language that shows you are interested
  • Avoid slouching in your chair and looking bored
  • Take notes, but continue to stay focused on the speaker, looking up often
I Kings 19:11-13
“And he said, Go forth, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.
And, behold, the LORD passed by and a great and strong wind
rent the mountains and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD;
but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake;
but the LORD was not I in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire:
and after the fire a still small voice…. and Elijah heard it.”

When Peace Speaks …

Isaiah prophesied the Messiah would be the:
      “Prince of Peace”  (Isaiah 9:6)

An angel chorus proclaimed:
      “Peace to men”  (Luke 2:14)

Jesus spoke:
     “Peace to the sick, to His disciples, to nature, to life, to our
       hearts, to our minds.” 
      (Luke 8:48, John 14:27, Luke 24:36)

as He speaks peace to you. 

If we would only be wise enough to hear God in each other’s voices.

Hear God in each other’s voice…..
But I DO listen!  Don’t I??

Have you ever had Habakkuk’s complaint?
“How long, O LORD, must I call for help?  But you do not listen!”

The most basic of all human needs is the need to
understand and be understood.
The best way to understand people is to listen to them.
                                               Ralph Nichols

If someone can’t or won’t listen to you, get him to listen to himself.

The only way to truly win friends and influence the best in people, is to be more interested in listening to them than you are in impressing them.

“Listen unto others as you would
have them listen unto you!”

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