The Listening Life #5 * The Giveaway Continues!

Everything we've read so far in The Listening Life aims us toward the powerful chapters we're focusing on this week.

For when we're truly connected to God and our own spiritual wells are filled to overflowing, we are able, by His grace, to authentically love others and have the miraculous ability to be fully present in their yearning and pain.

A core need of every person is to be heard, validated, and accepted right in the midst of their own messy unsettledness, confusion, or grief.  To have another sojourner faithfully walk with them over the long haul with no other agenda than to love and to listen ... while refusing to play God, offer pat answers, wave some kind of magic wand, or lob Scripture like a weapon?

This is sheer grace indeed.

Chapter 6 - Listening to Others
Let's head right over to page 139 to focus on one of the book's highlights - How to Be a Bad Listener.

Adam writes, 'Let's be honest: there is some bad listening going on out there.  The bigger problem may be that it's masquerading as good listening ... Here are a few of the usual suspects ...'

the one-up

the sleight of hand

the inspector

the reroute

the projector

the interrogation

the password

the hijack

the mechanic

the bone of contention

the deflector

the boomerang question

When you're done laughing at the sheer absurdity of it all, which of these twelve culprits do you find to be most irritating?  And which of these transgressors might you have unwittingly morphed into along the way?


'If you are using your silence to dwell on what is happening internally - to listen to your own inner monologue, to come up with more questions, to form a critique or a rebuttal, to prepare your own story or to otherwise focus less on what the other person is communicating and more on your thoughts about what the other person is communicating - then you are not listening well.'


Chapter 7 - Listening to People in Pain
'I once heard a ministry colleague say, "I'm going to be with a person in the hospital tonight.  Time to speak some truth."  This idea prevails in many Christian circles, that preaching is the healing balm for suffering.  Whether it's sickness or divorce or job loss, a crisis calls for some sound biblical exhortation.  I have a number of issues with this.  

First, it assumes that hurting people do not believe the right things or believe with enough fervency.  They may end up receiving the message that their faith is not strong enough for them to see their situation rightly, or that something is wrong with them because they are struggling.  

Second, preaching to people in pain preys on the vulnerable.  It's stabbing the sword of truth into their wound or doing surgery without anesthesia.  Unwelcome truth is never healing.  

Third, "speaking truth" into situations of pain is distancing.  You get to stand behind your pulpit or your intercessory prayer that sounds a lot like a sermon, and the other person is a captive audience, trapped in the pew of your anxious truth.  Suffering inevitably makes a person feel small and isolated, and preaching to them only makes them feel smaller and more alone, like a scolded child.'


The Giveaway
Our esteemed author is giving away a free signed copy of The Listening Life to one reader who leaves a book review of The Listening Life at

Click here and scroll down to Customer Reviews to share your perspective.  {You need to have either purchased the book at or spent $50 at over the last three months.}

And then be sure to say 'hi' to Adam in the comment section of one of The Listening Life posts and let him know you left a review.  The giveaway winner will be selected on Wednesday, May 30th.

If you've been following the series but haven't purchased the book, it's not too late ... go for it!

P.S.  Having trouble leaving comments?  A few readers have let me know that's been their experience.  Simply email me {lindastoll @ juno . com} whatever you have to say and I'll be oh-so-happy to post it for you.