Why am I listening?

In light of our cultural context it is obvious communication is not happening.

There are many thoughts and opinions, maybe more than ever, that I have access to at any moment. I can find a point and a counterpoint for anything with little effort. If you agree with me I “like”, I “retweet”, I feel affirmed. If you disagree I “block”, I “unfriend”, I am indignant.

This polarized reality is often called an “echo chamber” where we hear ideas that we support in increasing percentage, and dissenting opinions aren’t heard in increasing percentage.

When Leon was talking about the challenges we face in family last Sunday my mind raced in many directions; but I became convinced to evaluate how and why I listen. Am I listening so I can argue against respond to what you think? Or am I listening to understand and then let you know I understand.

Whether it be in ministry, in family, in friendships, or in public, how might my light shine more for God if I communicate to the people I’m around that I hear them and that I want to understand.

Surely it won’t hurt.


Shannon Cooper



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