When we listen at all…most of us are good at doing it with the flaps of skin on the side of our heads. And, we filter and measure the information we are hearing through our own set of predetermined standards of truth…our own bedrock of opinions.
In so doing, what an adventure of learning and journey of relationship we are forfeiting. In other words – how shallow and anemic we are sentencing our lives to becoming.
Although it’s a solution with risk…there is an answer:
To develop the art of listening to others with the ears of our hearts. Proverbs 18:15 in the message states this:
“Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.”
In moving forward in – what is to many – a fresh new art form, at least four things are required in my attitude:
- I don’t know everything about anything (even though I often think I do…if I’m being honest with myself)
- He/she may likely know more than I do about any given idea…(even when it contradicts my pet doctrine)
- It’s okay. In fact it’s a virtue to truly believe I have things to learn…(that are even radically different than what I’ve previously thought was true).
- God did not appoint me guardian of correct wisdom and doctrine.
Mix with those four realities a whoppin’ measure of desire to truly know what my fellow man thinks and why they think it.
If we listen with our hearts, we often discover a commonality with our brother/sister. We begin to discern that they want what we want and they (normally) are on a quest to find a life that fulfills and fills full.
I’ve made it my 2012 quest to listen – more than ever – with the ears of my heart. I botch it more often than I’d like, but I am improving. And, my relationships are improving. In fact, I’m finding others more and more willing to listen to what I have to say…to respect my opinion. Because…they sense I’m respecting theirs.