Amy Thinks Deep

philosophy for the curious soul 

Listening and Healing: A new consideration for counselors and preachers

                Counselors are instructed to be quiet when they feel it is helpful for the client. It is ironic how this correlates with some spiritual prayers to God. Sometimes when we pray, as we hear in church sermons sometimes, it is about not being quiet and listening to God. As King Solomon might have put it, there is a time for listening, and a time for talking.

                Most times preachers can execute blame on parishioners for not allowing the presence of God to speak in their personal lives. Some do not even allow a place for psychotherapeutic work. If a client is upset and babbling about whatever has upset him/her, it is a time to listen, a time to watch the steam rise up and be let go. So it is with one’s relationship with God: when you need to just let it out, just let it out. The magical loving-kindness of God is that God is structured for listening, not giving any advice during a time leading up to a catharsis. Having another listen has some healing attributes. Psychotherapy recognizes this; when will Christianity realize and preach that God being quiet sometimes is the best healing medicine.

                The sermon that preaches one should be stiller or quieter to hear what God is saying should be revoked.  It would be foolishness to quiet down only to listen to God listening. In regard to working through an issue by talking or another activity which assists inner healing, holding back the emotional work to be done actually inhibits the healing process. Even the friend who listens understands the importance of giving time to listen to a friend working through a personal issue.

                One can be as still and quiet or as loud or frantic as can be and God will still either be talking or listening. God’s words do not depend on the position or mood of man, but rather on His existential being. Just as perfectly demonstrated by humans, God will listen and speak as He pleases. If God has something to say, He knows how to speak to those He is in relationship with; and the closer the relationship, the clearer it is.

                As counselors, a practice of respectful listening should be a technique used towards healing. Actually, counselors are taught to listen more than leading an inspiring conversation. One suggestion of personal spiritual practice can be as follows:

Envision God as your counselor sitting across the low-lighted room, calm and available for listening. You have an issue you are currently struggling and working through. God sits, taking emotional interest and exerting empathetic energy, while you exert all passion into telling your counselor all that troubles you and holds you back.

Does it not seem a foolish idea that God would interrupt the emotional work being done, advising what to do next? Indeed, God is the same loving and empathetic counselor as seen in true and ethical counseling.

                Listening is not a skill, but an innate ability that is associated with spiritual qualities such as love, empathy, and so forth. Listening is not learned, but rather a discovered trait when considering others. All humans have the ability to listen, both deaf and hearing, both visual and blind, for listening is a spiritual act, breaching past physical fields, and from and to the hearts of one and another. Theoretically, listening occurs naturally when one is spiritually healthy and balanced. Therefore, if God is a perfect spiritual being, then naturally He is also the perfect listener.


*Disclaimer: Now, being a true and ethical counselor provides the knowledge and competence to know when it is appropriate to interrupt and redirect a client.

*Disclaimer: In some instances, man needs to be the one to listen to God. This discernment is a weakness and struggle in many practicing Christians.

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