Redemptive Listening

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Redemptive Listening

Read Job 11 as a family:

Zophar bring counsel to Job in much the same way as Bildad, maybe even worse. He comes across brash and insensitive to his suffering friend that lay before him. He also mis-hears Jobs own words and then builds upon that misconception to drill into his friend. Zophar quotes Job’s words back to him in verse 4:

Job 11:4 For you say, ‘My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in God’s eyes.’

The problem here of course is that Job has never, nor will ever say that he is pure and clean. He has claimed to not have led a sinful life which might lead to this level of suffering, but this is not the same as saying he is pure and clean. He has claimed to be blameless, but also confesses to have sin (7:21, 13:26). God himself has said in chapter 1 that Job is blameless.

It is of utmost importance that we are good listeners. It honors the person we are speaking with, it reflects amiable character, and brings honor to God. I find myself lacking in this area very often. One of my problems is that I tend towards boredom while I am listening, and then begin to think about other things rather than the immediate speaker. When this happens, it brings dishonor to the one I am listening to and will inevitably cause me to mis-represent their words much like Zophar.

Questions for the kids:

  • Do you think that you are a good and engaged listener?
  • Have you ever been convicted when you have mis-heard another person’s words?
  • Listening is a redemptive act. I say this because we can listen with wrong and depraved motives. We can listen good to another so that they will think well of us. We listen because we want something from them; be it honor, respect, or praise. We don’t naturally listen well in order to glorify God and advance his kingdom. We typically listen well in order to advance our own. This is why true listening is redemptive. Share your thoughts about what I have just said. 

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