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Monday, April 18, 2011

Please Listen To Me!

Do you ever want to make that statement, "Please listen to me!"?  Last week, I was reminded, through a few different episodes, that we don't really listen to each other.  Many times, while in a conversation, our minds aren't really focused on what the other person is saying, but focused on the next words we, ourselves, want to say, or maybe something totally unrelated to the conversation at all.

Some time last year I picked up a small family magazine.  There was an article about the character trait of "attentiveness".  I hadn't ever thought about that word before, but as I read through it, I recognized that it's a character trait we all probably need to work on.

By definition, attentiveness means "giving care or attention; watchful: attentive to detail. Marked by or offering devoted and assiduous (this word means showing great care and perseverance) attention to the pleasure or comfort of others."  So, if we are attentive to others, we are basically giving them our devoted attention, but also showing great care to watch for certain details.  To me, this means we will recognize when someone is upset, angry, sad, lonely, troubled, sick, etc.  We will learn a lot about a person in just that short time of visiting.

As you go throughout your day, take the time to really listen to those you talk to and with those you come in contact with.  Take the time to be attentive.  As always, our example is Jesus.  He took the time to listen and to care for others.  He had divine power, but knew the needs of the people.  We don't have that same divine power, but God has given us the ability to help others and to care for their needs. He has given baptized believers His Spirit. We just have to be willing to slow down and listen.  We just have to open our eyes to those around see their needs. 

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 
Philippians 2:4

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