When someone is confiding in me, I often find myself distracted. How can I be a better listener in my relationships with my family and friends?
We have all probably experienced periods of not being “heard” in our relationships with family, friends, or even co-workers. But there are also times when we need to take more time to listen.
In Scripture, God demonstrates His care for His people by listening to them. The Israelites had suffered under years of oppression. In Exodus 2:23–25, they were crying out for help. We know that God would take action to deliver His people from slavery, but before this rescue we see God’s compassion. Notice how He first listened to the Israelites. “God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. So, God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them” (Ex. 2:24, 25).
God took time not just to act, but to listen. Repeatedly, God hears, remembers, and shows concern. To be a better listener, we must make time, or “be quick,” to listen to our loved ones (James 1:19). Set aside distractions and create space to concentrate on the conversation. Choose a quiet time where you can be alone and listen well. Next, remember what they share in your conversation and respond with love and concern. This is a good time to offer to pray with them or on their behalf. When we listen with intent and care, we reflect God’s love.