The Power of Listening Saints


Grandma Muck at the cabin in Canada

The most genuine person I have ever met in my life is my Grandma Muck. She lived to be crazy old (like over ninety) before going to be with the Lord. She wasn’t genuine in the fact that she would hold you tight when you were hurting or wipe away your tears when a disservice was done. She was a stone-cold, truth-telling, hard-nose, extremely conservative, one-of-a-kind woman. She was the hammer, never holding back. My dad called her “the Queen of England”.

While Grandma was tough, one memory I have of her is playing cars with me on a cold floor in Rainey Lake, Canada. It took awhile for her to get on the floor but once she was at my level it was game on. As I grew older she would continue to get on my level, asking questions about my life, trying to be involved in what was happening and demanding to listen and understand my beliefs. While I know she didn’t always agree with me on all the issues, I knew how much she cared because she asked and listened to what I thought. It was a relationship built on trust. At the core of our connection, I knew she wanted what was best and gave me the opportunity to share my heart.

I loved her because of that.


My Grandma and Grandpa Muck on the left (I never met Grandpa), my dad in the middle and his brother and sister on the right.

Dale Carnegie (writer/lecturer) once said, “You can make more friends in two months by showing interest in others than you can in two years by trying to get others interested in you.” The older I get the more I realize how important it is to listen and gain perspective on others in order to be a better leader.  As I read through the gospel accounts I see Jesus come to dwell with humanity (Immanuel – God with us), listening to the teachers in the temple, responding to John’s wilderness preaching, trying to understand the Apostles pleading and ultimately responding to the Father’s voice validating what He was accomplishing on earth. The list of Jesus listening to His creation is extensive.  His ear turned to us causing us to turn our ear to Him causing His leadership to impact a generation to generation.

What about you? Do you genuinely show others how much you care by being inquisitive and attentive to them? Do you ask to genuinely understand another? Have you ever strived to get on someone’s level? Is there an internal desire to learn about someone else instead of seeking to make the focus on you?

Take a moment and think about the one person who has impacted your life in a major way. What is it about that person that resounds with you? Was it what they knew or was it that they took the time to listen to you?

“Brains are like hearts. They go where they are appreciated.” Robert McNamara

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak” (James 1:19).



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