I’m going to start this post off with a bad joke…
Ready? My wife yelled at me today saying, “You weren’t even listening just now, were you?” I thought to myself, “Man, what a weird way to start a conversation…”
For some people, listening is hard, isn’t it? We get caught up in our own thoughts or get so focused on what we’re doing that we don’t even notice when someone is speaking to us.
But sometimes, not listening comes in a different form. Sometimes, we can be deep in conversation with someone, and yet not really be listening to them. Another word for this might be “arguing.” Sometimes, when we’re arguing with someone, all we’re thinking about is what we’re going to say next to counter their argument.
And then there are times when perhaps we shouldn’t listen. When a toxic relationship is filled with cutting remarks and verbal abuse, it’s best not to listen.
But when it comes to participating with God in his mission in the world, we must listen. If we’re going to join God in bringing healing and wholeness to the world, we have to listen to God and we have to listen to our neighbors. This is a matter of good theology, believe it or not!