Please Listen – Girlfriends in God – September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020
Please Listen
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
James 1:19-20 “Always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily, because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants.”

Friend to Friend
Every person you know is looking for someone who cares enough to listen. You have heard the saying that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. The truth is that every relationship begins with listening. 

Listening is hard work and something we are not prone to do. I hate to admit it, but I tend to use listening time as time to prepare the brilliant things I am going to say when that person stops talking. Not exactly the loving heart of Jesus, is it?

During these very uncertain times of economic disaster, a global pandemic, and racial tension we can diffuse situations by simply listening. 

The woman who has lost her job needs someone who will simply listen to her fears.

The friend who lives in an abusive relationship and is now quarantined with her abuser needs someone to will listen and freely offer hope.

The child who does not understand why his or her world has been turned upside down has a lot of questions that need a listening heart. 

My college degree is in Elementary Education. That was my plan since childhood – to be an elementary school teacher. It never occurred to me that I could or would be anything else. It was the first semester of my senior year when I had to complete my Student Teaching block. My supervising teacher was Roberta McShan. Mrs. McShan not only became my supervisor, but my mentor and my friend as well.

Mrs. McShan had an almost magical way with children. Every child in that classroom loved Mrs. McShan and desperately wanted to please her. School had just started. We were three weeks into September and Mrs. McShan had those kids eating out of the palm of her hand. What was her secret? I had to know. 

I watched every move Mrs. McShan made, listened carefully to every word she spoke, observed her facial expressions, trying to discover her secret. After days and even weeks of this intense scrutiny, I found it! I found out how Mrs. McShan worked her magic. She listened. No, I mean really listened.

When a student approached her to ask a question, she always stopped what she was doing. If she was sitting behind her desk, she got up and came around her desk to face the waiting student. Placing her hand gently under the student’s chin, she tilted the chin upward toward hers, looked the child in the eye … and listened. She wanted each student to know that when they approached her, that child would always have her undivided attention. If anyone dared to interrupt, without even turning around, she simply held up her hand – which meant they had to wait. 

It was so simple. 

It worked every time. 

It was genius!

Waiting on God creates time to listen to God. 

There is a reason God created us with two ears and one mouth. We need to listen twice as much as we speak

Listening should always take precedence over speaking. In our culture of constant contact

through technology it’s easy for our attention to be divided. We may be physically present but mentally absent. We give the gift of listening every time we turn our full attention to the person who is talking with us. When we listen to people, we validate them. Listening says, “I see you. I know you are here. I am here for you.”

God gives us the gift of listening every time we call out to Him in prayer. He loves to listen to us. No need to text or email. We have direct access to God. 

Let’s Pray
Father, You are the best listener of all. Thank You for being there when I cry out for help. Knowing You are always ready, willing, and able to comfort and strengthen me makes life doable. And thank You for prayer itself – for making a way for us to get straight to Your heart. I love You, Father.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Now It’s Your Turn
Make a commitment to spend time in prayer every day. Start with 10 minutes each day and gradually increase that time. Pray, knowing your Father is hearing every word you speak. And then listen for His voice. It may come through a passage of Scripture, a thought, an idea. But if it honors God and lines up with the Word of God, it is from God.

More from the Girlfriends
We can learn to live each day filled with hope when we learn to live by faith, not by sight, with an expectant heart. Need help? Check out Chair Time. This book will change your life with a simple but profound plan for prayer.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook. If you would like to receive more devotions like this one, sign up for Mary’s Blog.

Need prayer? Our prayer team is committed to praying for you. Email your requests to our prayer team director, Ginger Meador, at gjmeador@comcast.net

Seeking God?
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