March 8, 2023

Healthy Listening

Written by Boyd Bailey

People feel loved and respected when they feel heard, and you gain access to their trust and real self when you listen to love well.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 8, 2023

Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” 1 Samuel 3:10

There are many reasons for the build-up of spiritual wax in the ears of our spirit. Apathy from not caring, fear from worrying, pain from hurt, fatigue from exhaustion, or ignorance from lies. Whatever the cause of being spiritually deaf…it does require the work of the Holy Spirit to humble our hearts and, with a divine Q-tip of love, mercy, and grace, remove impediments from intimacy with Almighty God. Hearing God happens when we are first aligned with God. Silence is the best language to hear the truth to grow our faith, and to know the Lord and be known. As we pray, we are wise to ask the Holy Spirit to clear our spiritual ears from all impediments.

Samuel, the Lord’s favored, heard the Lord with the humble heart of a child. His mother, Hannah, had prayed over him in her womb and dedicated her boy to God. Wow! What a way to be launched into this life, propelled forward by powerful prayers of faith by a godly mamma! In this incidence, the Lord chose a child to speak to and to speak through…not the professional priest Eli or one of his wayward sons, but rather the humble son of a godly mom. A child with limited vocabulary and life experience was chosen by God to hear His heart. Samuel boldly asked the Lord to speak to His servant…the young one awaited direction from his trustworthy Master.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27, NKJV).

Have you noticed in relationships that truly hearing what is being said is a key indicator of being able to love and understand the other person? Impediments to healthy hearing can be a screen distraction, the need to jump in and correct with accurate information, or lack of interest in the conversation. Whatever tempts you to not be present at the moment…decide beforehand to recognize this unhealthy pattern and instead engage in a two-way conversation. Emotional words need your emotional response of empathy and understanding. “So sorry; this must be so hard for you right now.” When you provide a safe environment for another to be heard, make sure to confirm what you thought you heard and clarify if necessary. People feel loved and respected when they feel heard, and you gain access to their trust and real self when you listen to love well. 

Most of all, listen to what the Lord is saying. Be careful not to follow the rationalization of, “I don’t need to listen to the Lord about this matter because I already know what He will say.” You can’t pick and choose when you turn on and off your spiritual hearing aid of a humble heart. 

Oswald Chambers develops this idea, “What hinders me from hearing is my attention to other things. It is not that I don’t want to hear God, but I am not devoted to the right areas of my life. I am devoted to things and even to service and my own convictions. God may say whatever He wants, but I just don’t hear Him. The attitude of a child of God should always be, ‘Speak, for Your servant hears.’ If I have not developed and nurtured this devotion to hear, I can only hear God’s voice at certain times. At other times I become deaf to Him because my attention is on other things— things that I think I must do. This is not living the life of a child of God. Have you heard God’s voice today?” 

Like Samuel, listen with a humble heart and do what the Lord says!

“But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25).


Heavenly Father, I humble my heart to hear your heart and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, remove any impediments that bring distraction or confusion to relational intimacy with you through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.


Practice listening to God in prayer in extended times of silence (30 minutes when possible). Pray from your heart, “Lord, give me ears to hear your best for me today, and in the process, show me how you love me and how you would like for me to love others.”

Related Reading

Nehemiah 2:12; Isaiah 28:23; Acts 2:21-23; Philippians 4:9

Worship Resource

Katy Nichole: God Is In This Story


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