September 12, 2010

Wise Listener

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- September 12, 2010

“Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you… Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.” Exodus 18:19a, 24

God sends people your way who offer great advice. Therefore, listen intently because you never know who may be speaking on behalf of God. These may be people you trust or distrust. Either way, do not allow pride to stand in your way of listening to what they say. Wisdom can come from the most unlikely sources; therefore, listen with discernment.

Do not be a non-thinking listener. Wise listening involves a functioning brain. The intent of wise listening is to separate the “wheat from the chaff.” For example, you may be laboring away unnecessarily in stress and anxiety. Your stress may be self-inflicted. You may need a better system for processing the needs of people.

You may also be trapped in the never-ending cycle of busyness. Your life and organization are more complex than even six months ago. You need a better process for handling issues and complaints. People are starting to grumble. You are weary and they are frustrated. The most obvious adjustment may be involving others to help you serve the people or the enterprise more effectively.

Take the time to recruit and train others. This takes time and trust, but if you do not start today preparing for tomorrow, you will wear out or even burn out. If this “choking point” is not remedied, you could lose your credibility. People will choose to go somewhere else, and you will lose your influence.

Do not try to talk your way out of your responsibilities; rather, listen to those who are offering you advice and prayerfully consider their counsel. This may be the optimum time for you to let go and trust others. Your long-term security is not based on what you control but on what you can give away.

So who in your life is currently offering you advice and counsel? Is it your wife? Is it your father or father-in-law? Is it your mother or mother-in-law? Is it your boss? Is it your employee? Is it your friend? Are you truly listening, or are you just going through the motions and not really adjusting or modifying your behavior?

There is a very good chance that the methods you have employed up to now will not propel you into the future. This time of uncertainty may be a good time to evaluate the basics of life and work. What is the purpose? What do you do best? What is your capacity? Do you value quality over quantity? Do relationships have priority over tasks? What is your motive? This honest self-evaluation, coupled with the counsel of others, will help take you to the next level of living.

Moreover, listen to God. He offers clear guidance in the Holy Bible, and many, many times He is speaking directly to you through the advice of people. Do not be afraid to ask someone, “What do you think?” Pray about it and then value them and the Lord by acting on the counsel that you believe is a word from God.

If you do not take the time for wise listening, your life will translate into foolish living. A wise listener listens with a propensity for change. Without change for the better, we become worse. Listen, for He is speaking. This is wise and healthy living. Wise counsel continues for the wise listener, but it ceases for the one who chooses not to listen. We learn when we listen. God is “all about” advice and “all over” a wise listener!

Taken from the Dose 16 reading in Boyd Bailey’s Infusion. This 90-day devotional book is a compilation of the reader’s favorites from Wisdom Hunters daily devotional. Andy Stanley says, “I have walked with Boyd for over 20 years and I am definitely wiser for it. You are going to love this book!”

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