The golden rule of friendship: listening

The words of Jesus in Luke 6:31 are known as the Golden Rule, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

David Augburger suggested a golden rule of friendship, “Listen to others as you would have them listen to you.” Listening helps establish and continue friendships.

Sometimes it doesn’t work that way. Stephen Covey observed, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, rather they listen with the intent to reply.” Understanding is often lost, and the empathy and help that can come from understanding.

Rather than being ready to speak, a friend will be first ready to listen. Alfred Brendel discovered, “The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.” When we are silent we are more able to listen.

Author Max Lucado wrote, “Our ears, unlike our eyes, do not have lids. They are to remain open, but how easily they close.” The one who made the “seeing eye and hearing ear” wants us to use them in relating to him.

The believer in God is challenged to hear and listen. A Bible verse, Deuteronomy 6:4 is a prominent call of truth. “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD.” Known as the “Shema” to the Hebrews, it is a powerful statement in the Bible to adhere to.

The last book of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, contains the phrase, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith …” at least seven times. As Jesus promised, the Spirit of Truth will lead and guide us to more truth.

While hearing the word of God inspires more faith, it is not enough just to hear. It is all to easy to become “forgetful hearers,” therefore James advised, “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.”

In this age of information, when we are bombarded with media and entertainment clamoring for our attention, it is important to hear the words forever settled in heaven. The result will be blessed hope, obedient faith, prayers heard and needs provided, and eternal life.

Remember that sometimes God is silent because he is listening. I’m grateful that the Lord hears us when we pray. He made this challenge in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things.”

I Peter 5:7 invites us to cast our care on the Lord, because he cares for us. That caring and compassion is embodied in his listening to our prayers, and the powerful answers he provides.

Keep your friends and make new ones by listening. Jesus said, “I have called you friends.” He said that after declaring, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” That is the ultimate love he showed us. He demonstrates it daily by listening.

Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. Thursday Bible study is at 7:00 p.m. (sterlingpentecostalchurch.com)

More

What others say: Obama took right tack on Cuba

There’s no solution to the half-century old Cuba problem that will satisfy everyone, but we strongly believe President Obama made the right decision to end the troubled “wet foot, dry foot” policy.

Read more

What others say: Obama’s legacy a mixed one

President Barack Obama leaves office Friday after eight years as the most consequential Democrat to occupy the White House since Lyndon Johnson. And unlike that Texan, whose presidency was born in tragedy and ended in failure, Obama will not have the ghost of the Vietnam War haunting his days and eating his conscience as LBJ did all the remaining days of his life.

Read more

Op-ed: Trump won the news conference

Donald Trump should do press conferences more often. Not for the country’s sake, certainly not for the media’s sake, but for his. He really shouldn’t have waited 167-plus days to hold one, because the man gives great sound bite. Although I’ve participated in probably thousands of these staged encounters as a reporter, they’re not my favorite way of getting news — you almost never get any. The guy at the podium controls the proceeding. He can get his message out with little challenge from the assembled journalists who are limited to a question and a follow-up, maybe. Politicians can bob and weave through that without any of us landing a blow. And that’s our job: to penetrate the canned responses to their version of the controversy du jour and get at whatever truth they are hiding. Besides, Trump — who uses contempt for the media as a weapon, his preferred way to discredit reporting that displeases him —has a wonderful forum to do that. At the very least he should hold these confrontations as a supplement to his Twitter tirades. And frequently. It’s his opportunity to hold the media hostage as they cover live his rain of abuse on them.

Read more

Good luck in Juneau

The 30th Alaska Legislature gavels in on Tuesday, and we’d like to take a moment to wish our Kenai Peninsula legislators good luck over the coming months in Juneau.

Read more