Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Are You Talking to Me?

Ravi Zacharias
A recent posting by Ravi Zacharias ministries was entitled “Selective Hearing”, in part it said,

“When it comes to listening, we are quick to listen to the things we want to hear. We are also quick to listen to the things we think other people need to hear. In a book study with several couples on the subject of marriage, several of us mentioned the struggle to actually read the book for ourselves and not for our spouses. I found myself carefully reading the sections I hoped my other half would most carefully notice; another admitted circling and highlighting and handing it over. I'm not sure you can call our attempts half-hearted or good-hearted; for our hearts were not the ones we were putting on the line. Undoubtedly, we missed things that would have been good for us to hear ourselves. Though reading with our own eyes, we were listening for someone else.

Expanding on G.K. Chesterton's clever aphorism that between one and two there is often a difference of millions, F.W. Boreham notes the massive difference between a congregation of one and a congregation of two: "A congregation of one takes every word in a direct and personal sense; but, in a congregation of two, each auditor takes it for granted that the preacher is referring to the other."

 If this weren’t so true it would be humorous. How often have we sat and listened to a sermon ,or read a book, and/or attended a class only to focus on the things that were said that would make our spouse better. Most of us have experienced that gentle elbow in the ribs accompanied with the words, “Did you hear that?”
“I am the biggest problem in my marriage. It is not my wife or circumstances outside of my control that are responsible for my marriage problems. Furthermore if my marriage is going to be better I need to change.” Most often when couples come for counseling they are secretly hoping the counselor will single out their partner as the problem. News flash – we can only change ourselves. Spouses and/or counselors can influence change but only if the person truly wants to change.

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