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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

WHY DON’T WE LISTEN ANYMORE?


 

Today’s Readings:

Deuteronomy 26:16-19;

Psalm 119:1-8;

Matthew 5:43-48

 


COMMUNICATION IS A FOUNDATIONAL TOOL IN ANY RELATIONSHIP. Effective communication involves speaking and listening. Most of us have no problems expressing how we feel. But why don’t we listen anymore? IN THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY, the people of Israel declared that they will follow God’s ways, keep his commandments and listen to his voice. God, for his part, promises to set them high above all other nations and consecrate them to himself. Both sides of the relationship must be kept for the promise to hold. But for reasons beyond my comprehension, Israel does not listen to God. Is God still obliged to keep His promise? IN THE GOSPEL, Jesus extends this promise to our relationship with our neighbour – “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43). It is a difficult time to be in a relationship of any kind. The problems are usually self-imposed. Here are some of them:

  • TOO MUCH NOISE – We have so many pieces of information competing for our attention. There is always something to watch, read or listen to. Sadly, most of these things do not foster healthy relationships with God or our neighbours. As a rule, confirm from two other sources before you conclude that the new piece of information you have is in fact true and useful.

  • I ALREADY KNOW – You cannot fill up an overflowing vessel. It is either you empty it to create space for new ideas or you continue to celebrate the wrong set of ideas.

  • I AM IN SEVERE PAIN – We are mostly the victims in our relationships. But there are two sides to every story. You are just as capable of hurting others. Admit that you are partly responsible for whatever is happening in your relationship. Sometimes, your pain will heal if you stop fanning the embers of violence in others.

  • I AM NOT PERFECT – A big factor in any human relationship is the need to change. Blessed John Cardinal Newman famously said, “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” We cannot continue to settle for less when we can be more. Make changes in those aspects of your life where others have made remarks. You will be the first beneficiary of those changes.

  • IT IS NOT MY FAULT – The worst thing that can ever happen to anyone is lying to yourself. It is natural for you to try and defend yourself especially in public. But it is better to make a habit of accepting your mistake as soon as possible and apologise for your wrong actions. People will stop offering advice or useful suggestions the moment they notice that you are closed-minded.

  • IT IS YOUR FAULT – Trading blames is the twin sibling of self-exoneration. When others are always at fault and you are always innocent, there is something wrong. Others cannot be at fault all the time and you cannot be innocent all the time, except you are claiming to be God. Relationships are naturally geared towards establishing common grounds. It is only natural that misunderstandings will arise ever so often. It takes grace to accept your flaws and work with others towards mutual understanding and growth.

  • TRUTH IS PAINFUL – We do not like how painful the truth can be. I totally understand that. But you have seen blind people and you can tell how painful it will be for you to lose your sight. Think of truth in the same way. Truth opens our eyes to something we have failed to see. It is always better to see than to remain in the dark.

SEEK A FRESH START in your relationship with God and with your neighbour. God will supply the graces you need to be better and to give others the quality of relationship you hope to receive in return.

JUDE-MARY OWOH

 

Prayer:

  1. Lord, thank you for bringing me into relationship with You.

  2. Deepen my love for You.

  3. Give me a healthy self-esteem and bless with Your grace those I am currently relating with, in Jesus name.

  4. Father uphold the body of Christ with Your truth and righteousness, in Jesus name.

  5. Lord, give us a God-fearing leader with a shepherd heart filled with compassion, in Jesus name.

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