In a world that values multi-tasking, listening has become a treasured commodity.

Why do I say that? It’s common that people are in front of screens (computer, smartphone, tablet, old fashioned TV set) while having a conversation with a family member, friend or office mate. How do I know? I catch myself doing the same thing.

We are told in James 1:19,
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

Being quick to listen means to refrain from giving a quick reply or rebuttal whether to disagree, argue or even agree.

William Stringfellow puts it this way:

“Listening is a primitive act of love.”

It is indeed one of the best ways we can show love to people. It may be one of the most effective expressions of love for it honors the person speaking.

So next time someone engages you in a conversation, here’s what you can do:

1. Put your phone down (or gadget).
2. Face towards their direction.
3. Look at them eye to eye. Looking at another direction can still convey inattention.
4. Acknowledge what they are saying.
5. Clarify what they are saying if needed to make sure you got what they’re saying.
6. Allow them to finish their sentence before responding.
7. Respond accordingly.

How about you? Anything else you’d like to add to this list?

May God continue to give us wisdom in how to add value to the lives of people we encounter. Remember, they too were made in the image and likeness of God.

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