Listening is both one of the easiest things and one of the hardest things we can do. The power of listening is often underestimated. I believe that the Lord wants all of us to grow in listening because He knows how important it is.
One of the greatest needs we all have is to be listened to. As I have matured spiritually, I have discovered there is great power in listening. It is not always what we say to another person, but that we were willing to listen.
When my children were young and thought I wasn’t listening they would put their hands on my face so they could turn my face towards them. Why did they do that? They wanted my complete attention.
Joseph Wanted His Brothers to Listen to Him
Joseph was so excited that he had received a special dream from God that he wanted desperately to share it with his family. I believe this is part of our human nature that God gave us. Although his family was dysfunctional, and Joseph did not have a good relationship with them, he still desired to share his dream with them. I believe this gives us insight into our personal desire to be listened to and understood.
What if his brothers would have listened intently and gathered to pray for God’s wisdom to interpret the dream, instead of becoming angry? How many times in my life should I have listened much more closely instead of reacting? Perhaps you also struggle in this area.
Scripture gives us great advice about listening. James 1:19 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.
- Requires Patience. Joseph’s brothers were impatient with him and as a result they did not listen. I still struggle to listen well. I want people to be patient with me as I try to explain myself. As a result, I have learned that you must be patient with people as you listening to them When we listen intently to people and are not distracted, they sense our interest in them.
- Puts Others First. Joseph’s brothers thought only of themselves in their story, probably because they were hurt that Jacob did not love them as he did Joseph. When we listen to others, we are putting them first. Philippians 2: 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 
- Is an Investment in Others. Joseph’s brothers were too jealous to invest time in him. Sometimes it is not what we say, but that we are available to listen. We need God’s help to be a good listener because our human nature is selfish. God will help us become better listeners as we ask Him, and He gives us strength to love others.
To learn more about the power of listening, listen here: