Kingdom Principle: Leading with your Ears is act of Love
|Amos 7:7-17||Psalm 82||Colossians 1:1-14||Luke 10:25-37|
While your brain is divided into four lobes and your heart has four chambers… the true lobes of love are those of your ears. Last week we spelled out the first three steps of 2LAF (Listen, Accept, Forgiven)…. When you do not engage in that act of listening to the Spirit then when it comes to engaging with others, it is as if your ears are filled with mountains of ear wax. The LORD can melt that mountain, (Ps. 97:5) But this post is not about having lovely lobes, it is how we use those lobes to love others. We are called to Love with our ears.
Last week we focused on the anchor of the Holy Spirit and our listening to God. (Our own acceptance and forgiveness takes root in us here.) This week we will see that in listening to God, we will better be able to Love, Appreciate and Forgive others as the LORD leads. This may be look like the work of the Good Samaritan or the bold Proclamation of Amos. To Love, To Accept and To Forgive cannot truly be done from a pedestal or prideful stance, rather it returns us to the acts of a Kingdom ServantLeader. It is our calling and anchoring of the Spirit of God which motivates love to be a gift given away. We are confronted this week with texts of Judgment. This post is from the perspective that in order for the one being judged to hear the words spoken to them, there must be a relationship established.
The Lord tells Amos… “these are my people, yet I will spare them no longer”. The reality is that before the of the words judgement can be delivered… the giver must learn to 2LAF before they seek to speak. This again is why we must first lead with our ears. In this way we are able to listen to the thoughts and questions behind the spoken question and we remain anchored when someone does something that we presume is stupid or ridiculous – when what you (in your flesh) really want to do is blast them with your opinion, rather than giving them the message of the Lord. As my listening coach (and author of the book recommended last week) says, “listening creates a bridge – that enables the other person to hear you at the “right” times. That right time is when you have earned the “right” to speak as the Lord leads you, not simply as you see it fit.” When we answer another’s problem or give the solution to their situation – it often makes us feel powerful. This power makes it all that much harder for us to die to self.
Here’s our problem – Jesus was fully anchored – this is our call in John 15 to abide and remain…. I (and maybe you too) however need some work in this area. Listening as an act of Love is the work we need. As the Expert/Teacher of the Law asked Jesus a question, Jesus replies with a question to clarify what is being asked. This is further developed as Jesus appreciates the exchange and the answer that the expert gives. There is no offense or call for the other to defend their question. To this then Jesus teaches by telling a story- again letting the Spirit bring the revelation and truth rather than Jesus needing to show His wisdom or power. With Amos, twice previous to this week’s text, the Scriptures point out that Amos wants God to relent on the judgment against Israel, but here in the third vision, Amos learns 2LAF. But rather than blasting Israel in Judgment, Amos listens to what Amaziah says and summarizes his words and clarifies the thought so that Amaziah might hear the word of the LORD. This effort of listening creates the bridge so that the intended message is received rather than reacting to Amos as the messenger. This act of listening seeks to appreciate the person and the perspective from which they are coming from.
The act of leading with your ears is only possible if “I” decrease and the presence of Jesus increases. Yet how often do we get caught up in trying to say the right words and thinking that we must demonstrate God’s truth. This is overcome in us as we focus on the “roots” rather than the “fruits” of the Holy Spirit. Let us have lovely lobes and lead with our ears.
2 LAF (listen, accept, forgiven, LOVE, APPRECIATE, FORGIVE) is the act of leading with your ears. Unfortunately, we misplace the emphasis of leading as an act of our mouth and saying the right things. Paul spells out in Colossians the results rootedness of the Spirit; Bear Fruit of Spirit, Growth in Knowledge, Strengthen in power, Increased endurance & patience, thankful living. These results will be markers by which the world around us will be able to know what it “sounds” like 2LAF. But they are not dependent on our words. As St. Francis Assisi is often quoted, “preach the gospel at all times, using words when necessary.”
Listening is the Key to Relationships: 2LAF is the means to enjoying Relationships. Below is an outline helping you to see common errors in listening with your mind, will or emotions rather than with your spirit.
Listening with your mind – reveals you are distracted
Our Error is to:
__Think__ of your response while they speak
__Assume_ you know what they mean
__React__ to one thing you heard them say
__Pretend_ you care or have time if you don’t
Listening with your will – leaves you irritated
Our Error is to:
__Solve____ the other person’s problems
__Share____ similar experiences to empathize
__Minimizing_ their problems for the positive
__Attempt_ to will them to do anything
Listen with your emotion – increases your anxiety
Our Error is to :
__Express_ your personal concerns, wants and outcome
__Miss__ their non-verbal’s and history
__Exaggerate__ emotion and emphasis of words
__Fear _ that acceptance of the person equals agreement
Listen with your spirit– be slow to speak (see next week’s post)
Our Goals are to:
_Acknowledge_ another person (Rooted with the Spirit)
__Accept__ another person (Receive with Respect)
__Appreciate__ another person (Recognize with Gratitude. )
__Affirm___ another person (Release with Blessings)
Listen – we are sent into the world as listeners, because the Lord has listened to us
Accept – we are sent into the world to accept, because the Lord has accepted us
Forgiven – we are sent into the world as forgiven, because the Lord as forgiven us
Love – we are sent into the world to love, because the Lord loves the world
Appreciate – we are sent into the world to appreciate, because the Lord appreciates the world
Forgive – we are sent into the world to forgive, because the Lord forgives the world