(Re-posted from Comfort-Cafe.net, November 2017)
The Art of Listening According to I Corinthians 13
Love is patient (puts up with annoyances; takes time to listen).
Love is kind (conveys a nonjudgmental, accepting, open attitude and attuned body language).
Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud (is humble, validates; refrains from bragging or engaging in one-upmanship).
Love does not dishonor others (listens respectfully, treats others as equals; does not interrupt, demean, ridicule, criticize, dismiss, or minimize).
Love is not self seeking (is other-focused, curious; does not dominate conversations).
Love is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs (is forgiving; is slow to take things personally or take offense).
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth (knows the difference between discernment and judgmentalism; challenges falsehoods and champions truth).
Always protects (keeps confidences; maintains good boundaries in conversations).
Always trusts (trusts the Holy Spirit’s work in the speaker, removing the pressure to fix, correct, or instruct).
Always hopes (stays positive and encouraging with a godly perspective).
Always perseveres (will hear someone out to the end; exercises self control in difficult conversations).
Love never fails (you cannot fail if you let this passage teach you how to listen)!
The best listeners listen from a loving heart. If you have listened well, you have loved well, and you have givena precious gift—your time and attention.
Adaptation of I Corinthians 13:
A godly listener is patient; she is kind, open, accepting, nonjudgmental. She does not envy, does not brag, but is humble. She is respectful of people’s thoughts, feelings and opinions, is other-focused, does not dominate, is forgiving and not easily offended or angered. She will not remain silent when confronted with evil, but champions the truth. She always protects by keeping confidences and maintaining boundaries, always trusts the Holy Spirit at work in others, always encourages hope in God, always perseveres in difficult conversations. In all interactions she is confident . . . that ultimately love never fails.