Listen to Love
Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” 1 Samuel 3:10 (NKJV)
If you want to lose friends and demoralize people, try being dismissive. At the checkout counter, ignore the greeting of the cashier or the kindness of the bagger. Skip the texts and emails you receive because you just don't have the time. Take the constant phone calls you receive while your child or spouse is enjoying time with you. At dinner, focus your attention on Facebook and Twitter instead of conversing. People are valuable and ignoring them can wreak severe fallout.
We often say we love God and people. But do we question how we express our love toward people? What is love anyway? Is it that wonderful feeling we have when we get our way, or is it how we treat people? If you know someone who overtalks you or must get the last word in, you know the sting of dismissal.
Little things do mean a lot. Small gestures and actions rarely go unnoticed by people who receive them. We don't do these things out of manipulations or calculated self-interest but out of a desire to bless people. Listening is a form of sincere interest in another person. It may take patience on your part, but you don't have to be a genius to be good at it.
The Lord does not ignore us when we call on His name. He is ever-present and attentive to our cries. We may not think so because of the many times we are dismissive of Him. We tend to believe we get what we deserve. If you want to deepen the most important eternal relationship you have, spend time listening to God. Still yourself and say, "Lord speak for your servant hears."