A Lesson from Oprah

Oprah Winfrey’s daily talk show came to an end last week. It was a major television event. Several big names were showcased on the show, including Maya Angelou. When asked why Oprah was so influential and loved worldwide, Maya mentioned that chief among the reasons was how well she listened to people, “Oprah listens in a way that leads to and invites trust.”

What better way to be recognized than as a good listener? It’s certainly true that listening is one of the chief hallmarks of loving relationships. When we hit the spot and attend to the voice of another, we discover that empathy comes with greater fluidity. But, when we miss the mark and turn a muted or deaf ear to another, we end up living in isolation and relational poverty.

God longs for us to listen to his voice. In fact, doesn’t he have much more important words to say to us than we could ever say to him? Translate that to our human relationships…isn’t it far more important to listen first before offering our own words? Jesus certainly modeled that for us – asking a question in reply to one over and over again. It seems like he was always more inclined to listen, observe, and ponder first before speaking.

We know Oprah Winfrey for her talk show…but was it really more of a listen show? Listening is a lesson worth learning and adhering to no matter what. Listen to God, listen to another, listen to our world, listen even to yourself – and then offer your reply. You’ll find that what comes out of your mouth is a far better reflection of your listening heart and might in fact be much richer in wisdom and significance. Do you agree? I’m all ears…

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Steve Macchia

Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of fifteen books, including the Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn. “My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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