Then Job answered and said: “No doubt you are the people, And wisdom will die with you! But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Indeed, who does not know such things as these?” Job 12:1-3 NKJV
Job tells his friends; you guys think you know it all. The world will not stop spinning in its place when you die. I’m no dummy. You are no better than me. Everything you are working so hard to explain is common knowledge!
Job’s friends have done a lot of talking. They are not done yet. They began with genuine concern for Job. Pride raised its ugly head. They continued on in exaggerated self-importance. They stopped listening to Job.
Listening to people has become a lost art. It is the most important part of any conversation. Listening to people is what ministry is all about. How can we share the Word of God with people if we haven’t taken the time to hear from the Lord?
There are people in my life who rarely listen to what I say. They may come up and ask how I am doing but their attention is elsewhere before I finish answering the question.
A man I met with for years kept calling my father a drug addict. I corrected him every time he said it. My father never used drugs. I told him so countless times. He probably still believes it. He said a lot of things over the years. He never really listened to me.
I watched a thriving church dwindle down to twenty people. New leadership was established. Hasty decisions were made. Little regard was given to people’s needs. They did certain things regardless of what anyone thought.
He said to him again a second time, “Simon son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” John 21:16
Jesus wants us to tend His sheep. He wants to use us to meet the needs of His people. He wants us to share the Word of God with people so they can apply it to their lives. We can’t do that if we don’t take time to listen to what their needs are!
Most of us have a lot to say but do not listen enough. That includes me. We can be a greater blessing to the people around us if we take the time to listen to them.
Really listening to people affirms their value to us and God. It shows that our interest in them and concern for them is genuine. Not taking the time to listen to people is rude and disrespectful. It can wound a person’s spirit and make us look hypocritical.
Do want to serve God? Do you want to help hurting people? Practice active listening!
Listen to people. Listen for the voice of God. Be about God’s business. Tend to the needs of His sheep. You will be blessed. Your labor in the Lord will produce eternal fruit and the Kingdom of God will invade the darkness of unbelieving hearts!
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