They say the best communicators are excellent listeners. Does that mean that a lot of us are poor communicators? Or is it that what we listen to has little or no lasting positive effect on our lives?
The booming voice inside
In his book Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller takes us to task for indulging in such deflating self-talk: “If we hear, in our inner ear, a voice saying we are failures, we are losers, we will never amount to anything, this is the voice of Satan trying to convince the bride that the groom does not love her. This is not the voice of God. God woos us with kindness, He changes our character with the passion of His love.”
To combat the destructiveness of negative self-talk, Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz recommends in his book You Are Not Your Brain what he calls relabeling. In order to stop hostile self-talk, Dr. Schwartz says, first you must become aware of it and call it what it is. Only then can our internalized words and our true identity be aligned.
The noise and clamor outside
Take time to absorb the Word of God, as well as good teaching and preaching, and let it bring change to your life. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves,” says my favorite New Testament writer, James. “Do what it says.”
Change comes through wise listening
That would preach, wouldn’t it?