Archive for August 22nd, 2018

Job 29-31: Making Our Defense

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Too often when truth speaks to us, we begin to defend our position without listening. Our natural human reflex, when we hear words we do not want to hear, is to survive as we are. Comfort lies in predictability; control of others and our environment brings stability; our actions may not speak clearly enough, we say to ourselves. We believe we must make our own defense because others do not see us as well as we do.

Those who listen actively, or deeply, experts tell us, have arrived at a level of maturity we all might wish to find. In the story of Job, an innocent man suffers. His family and friends hound him to confess to his wrongdoings that have brought about his pain. Job refuses because he has no information to share with them. As we have observed, he is innocent.

Too often when we attempt to speak truth to a power that has no interest in hearing, we are ignored, diminished, or – at worst – vilified and silenced without cause. Our reaction to this mistreatment can be varied. We may restate our case, we may withdraw in fear or anger, we may enlist the help of others, or we may retire for a time to take God’s counsel. There are times when only the wisdom and patience of God’s plan can address the obstacles that limit our relationships.

Whether we are those who do not listen, or those who hope to be heard, we always have the example of Jesus to explore. The Gospels are full of encounters between the Messiah and those who refuse to hear, and when we study them we know that the best way to move forward as we make our defense is to listen, and to rely on the Creator. As we consider Job’s defense of his circumstances, we might want to look at our own actions to consider how well we listen . . . and how we make our own defense.

Image from: https://leveragelms.com/www/index.php?ctg=details&id=27/Active-Listening/Lesson

For more information on deep listening, visit: https://www.deeplistening.org/

Find information about mindful listening at: https://www.umsystem.edu/newscentral/mindfuleating/2013/02/19/what-did-you-say-or-the-importance-of-mindful-listening/

To learn about active listening, go to: https://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/ActiveListening.htm

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