"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. You can see that when you think how the friends that really listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius as though it did us good, like ultraviolet rays."
Brenda Ueland, Strength to Your Sword Arm
"Perfect" - Without defect or omission. Sound. Accurate. Absolute. To bring to completion. To finish.
What does it mean to be a "perfect" listener?
Let's face it - we live in a noisy world, especially if you happen to live in a city filled with traffic, people and businesses.
Having just returned from several days in Los Angeles, I can tell you that I think the noise level there has gone up a few decibels. Sometimes it's difficult even to hear yourself think. With this unending clamor driving us nuts, we begin to "turn off" the unnecessary uproar as we try only to pay attention to what we consider "absolutely critical communication."
Add to this the pressure we have to do more in less time, and we find ourselves "multitasking, never giving anything we do our wholehearted attention.
The other night I was talking to my sister on the phone. She was giving me these "bland" answers that left me feeling as though she were busy doing something else. Has this ever happened to you?
Finally, rather exasperated, I said, "Cher, what are you doing?"
"Oops!" she commented. Laughing she said, "Well, you really want me to tell you? I was on the computer, watching a TV show and talking to you all at the same time!"
"I knew it," I shot back, "And you weren't doing a very good job of talking to me because I could tell you were preoccupied with other things."
We both got a chuckle from the situation because I'd be lying if I didn't admit I've done the same thing to people - friends and family.
Even popular songs today serve as commentary about the way we talk without ever listening.
When we are studying about being "perfect," it might seem strange to be talking about listening. One could wonder if there is a connection between having a perfect life - which we have already identified as following the will of God - and listening. But I ask you, if I won't listen, how will I ever be able to discern what God is telling me to do?
A sensitive ear, tuned to God's voice, is vital in helping me establish God's will in my life!
With this in mind, I want to look at three qualities that are found in the "perfect" listener:
Quality 1: A receptive heart.
Don't you love it when you have a friend who always seems to know what you need before you even ask? It's as though your hearts beat in unison. In Matthew 6:8, we are told that "Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." Isn't it wonderful to know that God's heart is receptive to my needs before I've even uttered a word?
Quality 2: An attentive ear.
My niece, Aimee, has two precious children, Elise 4 and Alton 2. When they come to visit, I watch with great interest as Aimee takes care of her children. She constantly listens for any noise from them. And her "attentive" ear can differentiate between sounds that, to the untrained, even seem alike. Our Heavenly "listener" promises that, He too, has an attentive ear ready and listening, anytime and anywhere. The Psalmist David reminds us that, "He who keeps you will not slumber" (Psalm 121: 4, Amplified Bible). God's attentive ear is on duty 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
Quality 3: An instructive hand.
It's terrific to have a friend with a receptive heart. It's even better when your friend has an attentive ear. But best of all, it is so helpful when that friend gives you good advice. Their "perfect" listening helps them give guidance that is beneficial to you. I have friends like this and how thankful and blessed I am to know them. David found that God was this kind of friend when he wrote, "I, the Lord, will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you" (Psalm 32: 8 Amplified Bible).
Receptive. Attentive. Instructive. This is the kind of "perfect" listener God is when we call on Him. And this is the kind of "perfect" listener I want to be to the friends God has given me.
"With the gift of listening, comes the gift of healing."
I am looking for comfort.
They tell me all I have to do is ask and You will help me.
I am in need of peace.
They urge me to turn to You and You will grant my wish.
I am searching for happiness.
They tell me to open my heart and You will fill it with love.
I am listening and I promise to accept your truth."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.