The Gift and Discipline of Listening

Do we listen to others?

“Listening is one of the most basic ways we submit to each other. In fact, listening is minute-by-minute submission to others. I clear away what is going on in my mind and I follow what others are saying. I ‘die’ to my own desires and ‘live’ to theirs. Loving God and loving others are tied together. Said Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ‘He who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but spiritual chatter.’ But as we live life in union with God, we become steeped in empathy and genuinely care for other persons. We begin to live our lives in Jesus’ attentive presence. This is what life in the kingdom of God here and now is meant to be.”

~ Jan Johnson in her book Invitation to the Jesus Life: Experiments in Christlikeness

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