We all know the importance of communication. We know that it is foundational to our effectiveness at work, at home, and in every relationship that we have. And when we look at ways to improve communication, we often talk about how to improve our public speaking, our discussion points, and visual management. But one of the most important aspects of communication, the real magic in the sauce, is in listening.
Image courtesy of: dcosand
“Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” – Job 2:13
When Job’s friends heard about the destruction that came upon job, the first thing they did was come to see him. This first response was a great act of friendship and model for building good relationships. They genuinely cared for him and came to him because they wanted to help. We all love a friend who is there for us when we need them.
As the friends approached Job, they could barely recognize him due to all of the sores on his body. Their second in seeing Job was to weep. Proof of strong human relationship is when we genuinely care for each other and can feel their emotions. We connect at the heart level.
The third thing the friends did was sat down on the ground with them and didn’t say a word for a week. They just sat there and listened. That is incredible. How often do we go to comfort someone, and when listening to them, we jump in and offer our advice or perspective. I’m not saying that is wrong, because the God gives us the right words at the right time, and he sends others to intercede for Him and for us. But I think this is an amazing act that highlights the value of listening.
Communication is not only talking, but receiving some information. And we can’t receive information if we are not listening. And listening is more than just receiving words. Listening shows the sender that they are valued. Listening helps the sender feel that they are understood. And it tells the sender that the receiver is actually open to information. It builds trust, and is the high-speed connection that helps communication flow more efficiently.
Many who look at the book of Job often criticize Job’s friends for the things that they do wrong. But in this case, I thought it was worthwhile to look at some of the things that they did right. How much like Job’s friends are we? We can do a lot of things right when it comes to human relationship. But then again none of us are perfect and can always find ways to improve. What an impactful lesson Job’s friends give us today when it comes to listening.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today that provides us with all the understanding and wisdom that we need at just the right time. Thank you for highlighting the value of listening today. Help me to be a better listener, and to use my ears more, and my mouth less. Help me to honor you God in all that I say and all that I do. Purify me from all things that are not good and holy, and let the your goodness and mercy be with me all of my days. Let your Holy Spirit come upon us Lord and overflow in us. Help me to love those who wish to bring me harm. Help me to walk in love Lord, and to know when to rebuke and correct. We thank you for all that you have done for us, and for all that you will continue to do. We give you all the honor and glory, as your faithful servants, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Photo By dcosand