We have the privilege of living in a country where we are completely free to voice opinions on everything from our leaders and their policies to whether or not we should wear masks. We also have the opportunity of listening to all of the different viewpoints of people who live in this country.  Is it possible that we get so carried away with getting our own views across that we don’t completely hear others or we miss out on moments to learn from each other? Isaiah 50:4 says, The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,  to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

Jesus was a listener. He listened to the woman He met at the well in Luke 24, he listened to the woman He healed in Luke 8, and in Mark 10 He listened to Bartimaeus, the blind man, even though the crowd tried to silence him. Jesus listened and as a result, people felt worthy, significant, loved, and accepted. He often responded as he did to Bartimaeus with a question that let the person know that they had been heard. Jesus loved people and no matter what, wanted them to know that they were valued.

Can we promote unity and make a difference in our families churches, and country by loving and listening to people as Jesus did? I believe we can. We can choose to prioritize relationships over the need to be right and pray that our responses reflect godly wisdom. We can agree to disagree when we value the relationship. Only with the heart of Jesus and the help of the Holy Spirit can we share our viewpoint, yet listen well to the other side. And maybe, just maybe, we don’t need to voice an opinion at all, but just listen. Maybe making the other person feel valued above all else might require just listening.

I want to know both sides of the issues but most of all, I want to know God’s word and heart regarding it.  1 Corinthians 2:10 tells us that “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” And Psalm 147:5 says “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.”

God loves us unconditionally and we are called to do the same, which means loving people like Jesus does regardless of their preferences or opinions. Let’s meditate on Psalm 139:4 today, “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.” Lord, please help our words reflect your love and help us to be good listeners.

Deb Hill
Executive Assistant

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