Learning to Listen in a World of Distractions – Sermon 3

Learning to Listen in a World of Distractions

James 1:19-20

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

“Hearing” in the New Testament

The word “hear” in the New Testament does not usually refer to an auditory experience.

It usually means to pay heed. So as you listen to your spouse you need to pay heed to what he or she is saying.

James 1:19-20 (NLT)

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

What’s the difference between hearing and listening?

Hearing involves gaining content or information for your own purposes.

Concerned about what is going on inside of me.

Listening involves caring for and being empathetic toward the person who is talking.

More concerned about the feelings of the other person.

What does it mean to listen to your spouse?

1.Listening means that you’re not thinking about what you’re going to say when she stops talking.

Proverbs 18:13 (HCSB) says, “The one who gives an answer before he listens—
this is foolishness and disgrace for him.”

2.It means that you’re accepting what is being said, without judging what is being said or how he or she is saying it.

3.It means being able to repeat what your spouse has said and express what you think he or she was feeling at the time.

What are the ways that we communicate?

Three Components of Communication

1.The actual content

2.The tone of voice

3.The nonverbal communication

Three Components of Communication

1.The actual content – 7%

2.The tone of voice – 38%

3.The nonverbal communication – 55%

What are some of the reasons that we listen?

Listen for facts, information and details.

Listen because we feel sorry for the person.

Listen to be polite.

Listen to gossip because we love to hear the juicy details.

Listen because we care for the person.

Listen out of necessity/obligation.

Why do you listen?

What are your motives for listening?

Are you a ‘good’ listener?

Becoming a Good Listener

R – Receive

A – Appreciate

S – Summarize

A – Ask Questions

What are some barriers to listening well?

Gender specific listening styles

Selective attention


Personal biases

Habit of interrupting

Need to ‘fix’ everything

Overcoming the Barriers to Listening Well

Listen with your whole body

Clarify… do not assume

Be an active listener (rasa)

Do not pass judgment/become angry

Do not rehearse responses while the other person is speaking




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