Listening, an Anointed Tool of God!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I remember in my first month of marriage almost 41 years ago. I was a very young Christian and a new husband. I wasn’t very good at either. The second week into our new marriage, Renee and I had a quarrel. I was raising my voice at her and she started to cry. She ran off into the bathroom. I could hear her lock the door. I felt bad and asked her to come out. She wouldn’t unlock the door. I pleaded with her but to no avail. I started to get mad again and told her to come out. She said No! Again I said, Renee, come out right now! Then she said, No, you don’t love me, and you don’t care about me—you don’t listen to me. It was there I began to learn that she interpreted listening as caring and love.

I went into the bedroom, got on my knees along side the bed and prayed. Lord, I don’t know how to be a good husband and I don’t know what to do right now. I kept reviewing the event in my mind but the Lord wanted me to stop doing that and instead be quiet and listen to Him. It didn’t come easy but as I let the Lord deal with and teach me, He showed me how important it was to quit trying to try to be right but instead, focus on and listening with a caring heart. If I did that, swallowed my pride, and let honesty prevail, things would most always turn out alright.

He impressed me to turn to the verses 2 Timothy 2:24-25 (NLT) “A servant of the
Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be
patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.”

These verses teach us that arguing and fighting keeps their heart closed and in battle position. Wisdom comes from trying to understand their perspective—not trying to win the argument. It doesn’t mean that your right attitude and correct and kind attempt to work things out is always going to resolve every conflict. It won’t. You will always deal with a portion of people who respond more from their pride and ego than a right heart. James 1:19 (NLT) says, “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”

People don’t care how important you think you are or how right you think you are. They care about how much you care for them. Over the years, being a good listener has created more opportunities to be a blessing, than any other thing in my life. It has been the greatest tool of God into other’s lives. It has because listening is one of the most important signs of caring which also translates as love.

The accompaniment to listening is showing the appropriate and honest reaction to what you’ve heard. That may be an apology. It might be a change of mind. IT WILL BE understanding their perspective and where they are coming from, and then working toward a win-win solution.

I have been trying to walk out this truth in my life from that day 41 years ago. It won’t always work but not because it’s not a godly and right principle. Sometimes I still stumble at walking this out. Sometimes it’s them. You can’t control people’s attitudes and egos and unskilled behaviors. Conflict that doesn’t end well always feels like yuk! But, you will at least feel better as you rehash things in your mind, knowing you sincerely cared and tried to do the best by them. Sincerely praying for them will help keep affection in your heart for them despite the outcome.

Show people you care by listening. Most will know you care and most will be blessed that you are a good listener that is kind and that does care. For the ones that won’t, they belong to God to deal with. You keep growing in your ability to love, listen, and care for others!

Philippians 4:9 (NLT) “Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. “

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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2 thoughts on “Listening, an Anointed Tool of God!

  1. Thank you for another great devotional, as always Pastor Tim!

    Unfortunately, I can relate to the first paragraph! After 52 years of being single and living alone, married life does take a bit of adjustment! I like James’s very wise words about staying calm, this is so important. If we are not calm, we cannot listen properly and this is when I find that anger creeps in, which I certainly don’t want in my life!

    I like to think of myself as a calm person, however, sometimes it seems we are taken to our limits. Prayer is a great help in these situations as I have seen many many answers to prayer over the years.

    We recently visited a lovely couple who have just celebrated 60 years of marriage, they claim that they are still getting to know each other! Everything takes time! Incidentally, this lovely couple are people who genuinely act out Christianity, it’s a beautiful sight! I don’t want to copy anyone as we are created individuals, however, I do like to see there Christian principles in action!

    Let me give you an example of their Christianity in action. When David retired he started doing voluntary work with a Christian missionary society for the homeless in London. For his birthday the staff gave him gift vouchers. The first thing David and his wife Jean done with his birthday money was to go to the local clothes shop and purchase underwear for the homeless people as they were running short of underwear at the homeless centre! This sort of behaviour comes naturally to them, where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom and liberty!

    I notice you mention Pastor Tim that you don’t always get it right, however, by the look on your faces and the pictures I see of you and your family, I firmly believe you are definitely on the right path, in fact I know you are! I see the holy spirit all over you!

    Thank you for bringing the anointed Word to so many people.

    Wishing you all the best.

    Roy

    • Thank you Roy again for such kind and thoughtful words and for sharing the story about this beautiful and selfless couple! As that couple said, growing together takes a lifetime and it’s always learning to your your spouse before your self. It blesses them and shapes you! We have a wonderful marriage but we always work at it because in doing so, we are constantly blessed for it! I’m sure you and your wife will learn all that God has to teach you in yielding and adapting to each other and living life as a team! God bless you Roy!

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