#ReimagineDISCIPLESHIP... Listening is an Act of Love


May 2024

Love (Listen to) One Another

Jesus said, ”This is my command: love each other“ (John‬ ‭15‬:‭17)‬. I've always had a vague notion that to "love each other" meant not saying unkind things, not getting angry, being nicer, or letting others go first. 

Love includes these things. But I missed a key way of showing love. One that I discovered as I learned to coach.

“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable,” David Augsburger wrote in Caring Enough to Hear and Be Heard. Think about how you feel when someone listens to you. Or how you feel when you're dismissed, talked over, and not listened to.

Listening clearly communicates love. People feel care, compassion, value, and respect as we listen to them. These are the effects of love.

As an experiment, replace the word "love" with "listen":

  • ”By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love (listen to) one another.’“ John‬ ‭13‬:‭35‬ 
  • ”Be devoted to one another in love (listening). Honour one another above yourselves.“ ‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭10‬ 
  • ”This is my command: love (listen to) each other.“ John‬ ‭15‬:‭17)

Suddenly, loving others has a behavioral and measurable dimension to it.

How much are we as Christians noted for listening, and thus showing love? How much do I demonstrate my care and value for others by listening to them?

I'm not a natural listener. Listening is a skill that can be developed. One that will communicate love to everyone around you. 

Show love by listening to one another.

Grace & Peace,

Keith Webb

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