One of God’s great gifts to the church is to have listeners. We have someone in the church here in Feltham who carries out a great ministry among many simply because of being a good listener. That person does much good in the church because people can go to them and know that they will find someone who will happily listen.
Listeners are a great asset because so much healing comes to people’s minds through simply being able to talk something out of their system. The talking releases the situation. It also gives clarity in understanding a situation. The verbalizing of a problem or difficulty somehow works to sift a person’s thinking. Through this they can start to get a handle on their predicament so that they can move forward.
Listeners by their very nature are often ignored because they are listening rather than trumpeting abroad their existence. However, they are great asset to any community.
The main danger with being a listener is that you accept what people say even when it is harmful to that person. The passive receiving of information which a listener can be prone to can lead to the accepting of comments and connected behaviour which should not be accepted. Also the listener can end up receiving information that they really did not want to receive. This can lead them into predicaments about whether that information should be passed on or not. They can also hear things which are polluting to the soul. So if you are a listener be aware of this danger.
But let us not forget that we do need many listeners among us. Remember the scripture that says: My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, (James 1:19). And also remember the greatest listener of all. And so we go to that road to Emmaus and observe our Saviour listening to those two disconsolate disciples (see Luke 24:19-24).
Oh Lord make me a listener and oh Lord give us more listeners.