The operational definition of attentiveness is “showing the worth of a person by giving undivided concentration to his words and emotions.” Every person is valuable to God. He created us in His image and redeemed us with the blood of His own Son. God also shows our worth to Him by hearing us when we pray. Similarly, you can show others that they are valuable by being attentive when they speak. You give your undivided attention to others by carefully considering their words, listening with understanding, and showing concern for their feelings. Using your eyes, ears, and heart, be ready to show that you care. Being attentive is giving honor to others rather than drawing attention to yourself. (See Proverbs 25:6–7.)
The opposite of attentiveness is unconcern. A person’s concern for himself can crowd out his regard for others. When he is busy pursuing what he wants to do, he may find it difficult to pause and listen to others. His mumbled responses indicate his disinterest as he pays little attention to the speaker’s words or facial expressions. He is easily distracted and unconcerned with remembering the details of what is being said. His self-focus deters people from sharing their hearts with him. He doesn’t notice when someone looks lonely or in need, so he is unable to look for ways to reach out and help. If you find yourself looking out for your concerns and not for the concerns of others, remember that God cares for everyone! You have the opportunity to communicate His interest in them when you take time to listen.
- As I read God’s Word, do I pay close attention and ask Him to speak to me?
- Am I quiet before the Lord in prayer so that I can listen to His voice?
- Would my parents say that I am eager to hear, understand, and obey their instructions?
- When others speak to me, do I stop and look at them so they can see they have my complete attention?
- As I speak with others, am I mindful of their words as well as their countenances and emotions?
- Am I able to focus on my responsibilities and not be distracted by what I would rather be doing?
- How often do I take notes to help me pay attention and remember what the speaker is saying?
- Is my family aware that I value each one, or do I communicate that I am too busy for them?
- Do I ask questions to make sure I understand what I am being taught?
More About Attentiveness
God enables me to:
Have a hearing heart.
Learn to listen.
Remember the message.
Look at people when they speak to me.
Ask questions if I do not understand.
Demonstrate honor to others.
Not draw attention to myself.
Not be distracted.
Attentiveness in Scripture
Learning at the Feet of Jesus
Revealed in Nature
Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum
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Free Resources for Attentiveness
Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!