Hearing with our Ears

      Most of us have read or heard the saying we have two ears and one mouth and we should use them accordingly. Recently I read an article that added to that saying interestingly, the ears never close, but the mouth can. Of course that is literally. Scripture shows we can and do close our ears. Zech 7:11 "But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder and stopped their ears, that they should not hear." We read in our readings in Mattnew not long ago, "he that hath ears to hear, let him hear." When we read the scripture do we hear what the spirit is saying? When we communicate with others, do we hear them?

      We must seek to understand, then to be understood. One article said "When we listen with the intent to understand others, rather than with the intent to reply, we begin true communication and relationship building. When others feel understood first, they feel affirmed and valued, defenses are lowered and opportunities to speak openly and to be understood come much more naturally and easily. Seeking to understand takes kindness; seeking to be understood takes courage. Effectiveness lies in balancing the two. Steven Covey

      In Ann Landers column under the ten commandments of how to get along with people, she wrote:

  1. Keep skid chains on your tongue. Always say less than you think. Cultivate a low persuasive voice. How you say it often counts more than what you say.
  2. Discuss but don't argue. It is a mark of a superior mind to be able to disagree without being disagreeable. Proverbs 15:1 says "A soft answer turneth away: but grievous words stir up anger."

      A very comforting and encouraging thought is from the Psalms "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their cry. And "The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles."

      Many of our brothers and sisters are going through hard times for various reasons ill health, old age, heartaches of raising children, dealing with our human nature and the sins we commit, loneliness, feeling we are misunderstood, and financial hardships and many burdens we do not even know they are carrying. Let us open our ears and hearts to them and their troubles and pray for them because God ears are open to our cry.

Sister Kathy Sommerville

from Encouraging Words 19 March, 2001