Have you ever poured your heart out to someone, only to notice as you are speaking that they are not really listening? They seem distracted, they glance at their watch, or worse, they constantly interrupt with their own thoughts, ideas or problems?
James 1:19 tells us to “be quick to hear, slow to speak.” We all want to be heard and have felt un-listened to at some time, but how many of us could truly say that we ourselves are good listeners?
God not only hears, he listens — he is the best listener in the entire universe. He is never distracted or bored with our conversation. Quite the opposite; he invites us, even entreats us, to constantly “pour out our hearts to him” as we journey through life (Psalm 62:8).
God “inclines his ear” — or, as the New Living Translation so beautifully puts it, “he bends down to listen”:
Think about this for a moment…
* God is the only one in the entire universe who has no need to listen to anyone, as he already knows absolutely everything and there’s nothing new we can tell him. Yet he finds delight and joy in hearing our confused, meandering, often bumbling chit-chat.
* So much does God want to hear us, that he tells us to talk to him “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
* He promises to be with us every step of our journey through life, never leaving us, “to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
If God who knows all things takes such great and unrelenting care in listening to us, how can we do any less when it comes to listening to our fellow human beings?
May the love of God empower and teach us daily to listen to others with the rapt and loving attention that God gives to each one of us.