Several years ago someone recommended I read Kate Murphy’s book You’re Not Listening.
I didn’t listen then…not really sure why they would recommend it 🙂
But I was reminded of it this week as I listened to an interview with David Brooks.
He was citing research from the book to show that we have a serious listening problem.
Kate opens her book with some haunting questions:
When was the last time you listened to someone? Really listened, without thinking about what you wanted to say next, glancing down at your phone, or jumping in to offer your opinion? And when was the last time someone really listened to you? Was so attentive to what you were saying and whose response was so spot-on that you felt truly understood?
Well? When was it for you?
She goes on to say:
In modern life, we are encouraged to listen to our hearts, listen to our inner voices, and listen to our guts, but rarely are we encouraged to listen carefully and with intent to other people. Instead, we are engaged in a dialogue of the deaf, often talking over one another at cocktail parties, work meetings, and even family dinners…value is placed on what you project, not what you absorb.
In her book, she argues that how well you listen, to whom, and under what circumstances determines your life’s course. And that there is nothing in your life more important than your ability to listen.
I wonder if Kate has been listening to Jesus?
Because he makes the exact same point in Matthew 13.
In this sermon we examine the parable of the four soils.
Here we see that one of the most important aspects of your life is your ability to hear.