MONDAY MEDITATION: Fearlessly Listening (April 8)

Let the person who has ears, hear. — Matthew 11:15

I love this phrase “fearlessly listening,” coined by Henri Nouwen. He said it characterized how Jesus related to his Father. Wouldn’t it be transformative if it also characterized how we related to each other?

Active listening involves two things:

Focusing on what the person is saying instead of thinking about how to respond.

    Showing genuine interest by asking probing questions.

    Fearlessly listening involves doing those two things when you know that what you hear can affect your safety. Imagine talking to someone you vehemently disagree with. It can be a bit scary because what they say may make you question your own stance. Or imagine talking with a respected teacher or counselor about a problem. They can respond in a way that exposes your defenses or prods you out of your comfort zone.

    In short, fearlessly listening can change you, and who wants change?

    But Jesus listened fearlessly to others as well as to God. Sometimes he was changed, such as when he was moved by compassion by what he heard. Other times the people he listened to were changed, simply by the questions he asked.

    May we have the courage to listen as he listened, so we can love and be loved.

    4 thoughts on “MONDAY MEDITATION: Fearlessly Listening (April 8)”

    1. Great reflection, Greg…I try to remember, as I’ve heard many times,,,,,
      God gave up two ears & one mouth, so that we might listen more than we speak…


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