All My Heart

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

 A Listening Heart


1 Peter 1:22 “You must keep on loving with all your heart.” [CEV, with emphasis]


Paul says, “You must keep on loving with all your heart”. When I read this passage of scripture, I immediately asked God for help. I asked for help because I realized that what God is instructing us to do is to love, not with a part of our hearts but with all of our hearts. Many questions also sprang up in my head. How can I do this? How do I keep on loving with all my heart for a life time? How do I make love last? What choices do I have to make? What do I have to do if love is going to last? I learnt [and will be sharing with you] that there are four things you and I must do to make love last in our relationships. The first thing I must do to make love last is, I must listen with all my heart. Interestingly, listening is one thing that a lot of people do not like doing. Some people are even more interested in talking because they enjoy hearing their own voice. 


However, our relationships will be so different if we would listen to one another. James 1:19 “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” If only couples would implement these three things - be slow to speak, be slow to get angry, and be quick to listen. The depth of guidance God gives us in His Word is just amazing. God's Word says, be quick to listen but sometimes we struggle with listening because we really do not know how to listen. One of the keys to listening is you have to listen to people like they want to say it and not like you want to hear it. We often prefer that people would talk the way we want to hear it. But God’s Word is telling us to listen to people the way they want to tell it.


In the marriage relationship for example, you have to listen to your spouse the way he or she prefers to talk. In most cases the man is very direct with this communication while the woman loves to tell stories. Women mostly thrive on telling the details that led up to the event and beyond. The way most men will respond to the question, “how was your day”, is very different from the way most women will respond. But regardless of who is doing the listening and how the storyteller wants to tell it, to listen with all your heart means to listen to the story the way the storyteller wants to tell it. The good news for you and I is that we can learn to listen with all our heart.


Prayer: Holy Spirit, give me a patient heart and a listening heart, in Jesus Name. Amen!