“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
-Stephen R. Covey
I spent the last week at a professional development course which was really about one thing – truly listening to people. We discovered quite a lot about listening. Most challengingly was how much time and effort it takes to really listen to someone.
In the context of busy schools and busy families finding the time to really listen to people is hard. We often want to figure out what the problem is and fix it rather than hear about how a particular issue is impacting other people in our lives. We may be talking to someone but actually be mentally somewhere else.
A child may be sharing with us about something exciting they did during the day while we are perhaps thinking about that meeting we have coming up or what we need to pick up at the shops for dinner.
So this week I am encouraging us all to find the time to listen to each other. We have many valuable people in our lives. Let’s try and give them the gift of listening to them – their ideas, thoughts, feelings and struggles. This will take time and effort but truly listening to people is one of the most important things we can do.
After all, this is the ministry of Jesus isn’t it? As we read in Matt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
May God bless us all this week as we try to listen to all who are weary and burdened.