by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada
"Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person." (Colossians 4:6)
Do you like others to listen to you?
Listen to others, that is the only way others will listen to you. The sickness of attention deficiency syndrome is the high end product of modern technology. That is prominently seen in listening to others. Time factor is an excuse of narcissism. This is a vicious circle of non-listening. When you meet anybody or talk to anyone, speak "only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" (Ephesians 4:29). If you want to communicate, start with the needs of others. You should only be a facilitator in communication.
Throughout history, when people have asked God, "what is your name"?, Godís response has been to reveal Himself according to what they needed at that time. To those who needed a miracle, God revealed himself as Jehovah Jireh (I am your provider); to those who needed comfort, He revealed Himself as Jehovah Shalom (I am your peace); to those who needed salvation, God revealed himself as Jehovah Tsidkenu (I am your righteousness). God meets us where we are, at our point of need. Just as we like to be respected, we must respect others if we want them to listen to what we have to say.
Larry King, aged 76, was in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running television show hosted by the same person on the same network and in the same time slot. He is known as the "Icon of TV host." He has hosted the Larry King Live show in the 9 PM EST slot in CNN for 25 years. One of his famous quotes is, "I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I am going to learn, I must do it by listening." Larry says, "The guest to me was always paramount. I take no credit for people responding to me. I have been for 58 years in this business. Itís all I ever wanted to do. Iíve had a great ride. Iíve got no complaints."
"Jesus cried" (John 11:35) at the tomb of Lazarus. Spend time to listen to others, especially those who have nobody to tell their problems to.
Jesus, we pray for those who are in the wilderness of life, abandoned, alone, and in the brink of break down. Let we be the listeners and saviors to them. Let people have the mind to listen to others and attend to their problems. We ask this in the name of Jesus.
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