A note from Kelly King: My favorite line from today’s article is “Our ability to hear affects the effectiveness of our listening.” In Kaye Hurta’s weekly article directed toward ministering to those who are hurting, I’m reminded that I must first choose to hear what’s being said before I can truly listen to the need.
Recently we have closely examined tools of the trade for those ministering to hurting women. Listening well is one of those tools. The key element in listening well is found in your own ability to hear.
Let’s unpack this a bit further.
The year began for me with a rip roaring cold type thing and a killer ear infection.
For the past three weeks I have been having difficulty with my right ear. According to my ENT doctor, I have fluid behind my eardrum. As a result, I hear a low-level white noise in that ear constantly, and I hear my own voice amplified in that ear when I’m talking. If I’m honest, it’s a bit distracting and quite annoying.
Here’s why I mention it. Our ability to hear affects the effectiveness of our listening. (I’m the queen of the understatement!)
I have to listen closely and listen with intent when someone is speaking to me or I miss what they’ve said. (I also can’t hear people talking if I’m chewing, which is often!) The problem with my hearing was highlighted when I was praying with a woman recently and found myself distracted and unable to keep my train of thought during the prayer. That’s when I made the appointment with the ENT doctor!
This issue with my physical hearing has caused me to consider my spiritual hearing, and now yours as well.
How well do we hear the Spirit’s voice and how intentional is my our listening?
Hopefully the takeaways from my current situation will be a help to you as well:
- I can hear my own voice louder in my ear than anyone else’s, which begs the question, “Whose voice do I hear the loudest in my spiritual ears?” Culture? Self? Others? The enemy? Ask yourself the same thing.
- For me to discern what is being said, I have to be intentional or listen with intent. Am I intentional in listening to what the Spirit says? Am I focused and paying attention? Ask yourself the same thing.
- Because there is constant noise in my right ear, my brain is distracted by trying to pay attention to what it’s hearing over there. I feel like I have “hearing ADD” right now. So I ask myself: Do I have spiritual hearing ADD? What is distracting me from hearing and listening to that quiet whisper of the Spirit? Ask yourself the same thing.
Isaiah 42:20 says, “Though seeing many things, you pay no attention. Though his ears are open, he does not listen.”
Spiritual hearing ADD.
For us to care for women and people who are hurting, we must be able to listen well. For us to listen well, we must be able to hear. So, how is your hearing?
May I pray for us? Father, truly—give us eyes to see you and ears to hear you. Do not let us miss a thing You have for us this year in our lives and in our ministries for looking in any other direction or being distracted by any other voices. Forgive us when we willfully choose to be distracted. Forgive me. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.