Today’s Battle Drill Devotional: Learn to Listen Like Jesus
Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the larger debt”.
“That’s right”, Jesus said. (Luke 7:43)
Read Luke 7:36-50. Are you a good listener? Or are you like me? If I’m not careful, I’m too ready to complete people’s sentences for them, or sit there crafting my response. Fortunately, repeatedly, Jesus models good listening for us to follow.
In our passage today, Simon the Pharisee starts an argument with Jesus about whether a sinful woman should be allowed to touch Jesus and anoint him with perfume. Jesus listens patiently. Then he replies and asks Simon if he’s understood. Only when he has learned that does Jesus advance his own argument: Simon has failed to show any of the usual courtesies to Jesus, in contrast to the woman who has paid for her sins by showing Jesus much love.
These days we call this reflective listening. We allow the other person to speak until they have finished. Then we try to enter their world by repeating back what we have heard. It helps us to lay aside our own agenda, questions, and defences so that we can understand what the person is saying to us.
Often, we can be so busy contradicting, correcting, judging, or arguing with the other person that we simply fail to understand what they are saying. Jesus never does this. He listens. He is present with the other person. He is never in a rush and never distracted.
Wouldn’t it be great if all Jesus followers were known as great listeners? Let’s follow him and enter other people’s worlds and be available and present by listening well.
THINK IT OVER
Who do you find it most difficult to really listen to? How could you take time to hear and understand them today?