Recently, I’ve been feeling impatient with those who don’t appear to listen well, only to find that I myself haven’t been listening so well — not carefully considering challenges before responding (Pr 18:13), allowing myself to be distracted by commotion in my soul rather than focusing on clear communication.
So often, the faults we think we see in others are simply projections of our own. (Ro 2:1) God gives us ears for a reason; we should use them. (Mt 11:15)
A listing ship is leaning; to enlist is to engage, sign up, commit. To listen, pay attention, to lean in with the heart and mind, to focus intently (Pr 4:20), requires humility and strength, a certain freedom from agenda and bias, being unthreatened and receptive, not agitated and fearful but quiet, calm, alert and sober.
God calls us to be swift to hear (Ja 1:19), to listen eagerly, deliberately, intentionally. He can speak to us through anyone, sharpening and refining us in any situation.