In our world today, there is much distraction. We are bombarded daily with all kinds of technology — television, radio, computers games, and so forth.
There are so many things that compete for our attention that it is difficult to listen. Listening demands uninterrupted attention and focus.
How many times do we find ourselves supposedly listening while at the same time doing something else?
We believe we do not have the time to be attentive. It is common to see in church auditoriums a sign instructing church members not to use their mobile phones during the service. We struggle to pay attention even in church!
Listening is an act that requires skill. A true listener listens regardless of who is speaking.
Second Kings 5 tells the story of Naaman, a commander of the army of the King of Aram, and his healing from leprosy as a result of listening to the advice of his servants. Based on his maidservant’s advice, Naaman went to Israel to see Elisha.
Elisha sent a messenger to tell Naaman to wash seven times in the Jordon. This infuriated Naaman, as he felt humiliated. He nearly missed his healing, but again, his servants intervened and advised him to try what Elisha had said.
After washing seven times in the Jordan, he was healed—healed because he listened to the advice of his servant.
We sometimes fail to listen to advice because we are looking for the “right” person, someone of equal standing. We need to listen regardless of the speaker.
Pride can hinder our ability to listen; humility has a way of enabling us to listen.
Naaman questioned what he heard. He was looking for a complex solution, but a small and humble idea may be all it takes to bring about transformation. God is as loud as we are willing to listen!
Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. . . . So Naaman left. —2 Kings 5:4, 5b, NIV
Prayer: God, help us to avoid distractions and truly listen to what your servants are saying to us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patience Antonio works as the Human Resources Specialist for Compassion Ghana.
Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.