What to do when people won’t listen

August 27, 2019 | 25 comments


Have you ever been tempted to get frustrated, or angry, when other people won’t listen to good ideas? If so, fret not. It’s likely an opportunity to turn the situation over to the wisdom of God and let divine Mind bring about the best outcome according to Love’s perfect timing.

Jesus Christ had the most important message ever to share with humanity, yet, hordes of people chose not to listen.

Jesus had his moments of frustration, such as in the temple when he overthrew the money changers tables, and with the disciples, after they failed to heal a troubled boy, and he lamented, “How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you?” (Matt. 17:17, NLT).

But Jesus never let anger take over his perspective. He continued to love and love and love. Even on the cross, the ultimate offense of those who refused to listen to his message, he blessed his enemies with the words, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing”
(Luke 23:34, NLT)

Jesus didn’t let other people’s ignorance upset his thinking and take it to a negative place. Jesus exercised dominion over frustration and anger and maintained a spiritual perspective, knowing that, one way or the other, Truth would win the day and ignorance would be corrected. He put every situation into God’s hands and kept human ego and pride out.

We can do the same. We don’t have to exercise personal control over anyone. It’s not our job to “straighten people out.” It’s our job to love and see the hand of God at work in our neighbor’s life.

We can trust that God always knows best. God knows how to get the right idea across in a convincing way. Love exerts the best influence.

As we silence ego, pride, and self-righteousness, and let the one Mind work its way, ignorance will yield to understanding, and good ideas will get the attention they deserve.

25 thoughts on “What to do when people won’t listen”

  1. All good ideas there Evan! I do that with my closest friends – I love them so much just for who they are, and I don’t try to change anything about them – they’re perfect!

  2. Thank you Evan … I love how your posts spur me into research of what MBE & The Bible say on the subject:
    Prov 3:5 – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
    ’01 20:8 – “The Christian Scientist is alone with his own being and with the reality of things.”
    Mis. 8:11 – “Can you see an enemy [or mortal concept], except you first formulate this enemy and then look upon the object of your own conception?”
    SH 248:3 “Love never loses sight of loveliness.”

  3. Great post, Evan! And I have had reason to remind myself SOOOO MANY times of this fact..that if Jesus could forgive people for “literally” crucifying him, then WE should be able to forgive those who would try to crucify our forward-thinking ideas in favour of the old rut of tradition and familiarity.

  4. Thank you Evan. Your blog today caused my thought to go in many different directions.

    Upon first reading it I thought “I noticed he never referred to right ideas as “my ideas” or “their ideas” (as in the last sentence where it ends with “…and good ideas will get the attention they deserve” instead of “…and YOUR good ideas…”) It really takes humility to know good ideas come from God, not us, and we don’t need to feel tied to a certain idea just because we might have voiced it when, in some cases, a better idea may come to us in any number of different ways (including someone else voicing it).

    When I first read the blog I was thinking of it in terms of my interactions with other people. But then I thought of it in terms of my interaction with God. It occurred to me how many times I’ve stubbornly held to what I thought was MY right idea when God was gently guiding me in another direction. Imagine when the idea came to Jesus to let all of the supposed forces of matter try to destroy him so that he could prove the indestructibility of his (and our) identity at one with the Christ idea. What if Jesus had chosen to stick with his own idea of what he wanted instead of following God’s direction? Because Jesus proved that nothing can destroy an individual identity of God, we too can demonstrate that God maintains each individual identity in perfect harmony by putting aside our own human will and following God’s right ideas.

  5. This is right in line with what came to me Sunday; “Familiarity breeds contempt”. I have been focusing on gratitude a lot more and turning the wrong, troubling thought from “Why does she/he……..(fill in a complaint here).” to “What am I thinging about this person? What thought am I listening to about this person? and, Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? In other words, Is it from G(o)od, or is it from error? I am watching very closely my own ways of being and am finding that when I am alert, I am free. It needs to be practiced. Error is cunning and persistent. Thank God for showing Mary Baker Eddy how to (unconditiinally) love of us all. Everywhere we look, it’s obvious that It isn’t as easy for everyone. May we all have a loving, selfless day.

  6. I love this, especially the part about it not being our job to “straighten people out”! It reminds me of a couple quotes from Mrs Eddy that I’ve found to be helpful reminders in this regard. “It’s safe to leave with God the government of man.” (Ret. 90:29-30), and, “It is more important to know that right is, than to know what is right.” (From a letter to William McKenzie)

    Thank you Evan, and thank you all for your posts!

  7. This topic is perfect for me this morning! I have been waiting for a gentleman to get back to me about doing some work that he said he would do. My patience has been running thin, and I was feeling rather annoyed that he would not return my messages. I didn’t know if I should find someone else and this was weighing on my thought this morning, when I saw the subject of today’s SpiritView and Knew it had the answer before I even opened it. I no sooner had read these wonderful thoughts, when I received a call from him saying he had a cancellation this afternoon and would be coming! Yay! Patience! Yay! One Mind! : ) Thank you, Evan and Commenters for your very relevant help in this today. One Mind, Love, Does prevail.

    1. Thank you again Evan! This one hit home to me. Having spent time this summer connecting with extended family and even my own adult children, I found myself concerned and even frustrated with the decisions some were making which seemed to me mistakes. Of course , we want the best for those we love but I so needed reminding that God governs all and doesn’t need us to straighten people out. That God knows the best way to get the right idea across to his children. As I used to pray for my teenagers. “Let the angels tell them.” God’s ways are higher than our ways. So my prayer will be to trust them all to God’s unerring direction and to know they are hearing his voice! Thanks again Evan for bringing me a sense of peace!

    The crucifixion was approaching, crowds had gathered,
    two disciples had betrayed…and yet, when, Peter cut of
    the ear of the Chief Priest’s servant…

    Jesus put on the ear, and made him whole
    How could thought be so unmoved by the events taking
    place that hatred, dislike, fear, had no abiding place in his
    thought, thus he healed the man

    Have we, in less dire situations, been as forgiving? Have
    we healed our thought, so they, whoever the they are, were
    healed, and if others don’t change, have we been made whole

    Once healed…did the multitudes swarm Jesus to learn more
    about the Christ, which Jesus lived so abundantly
    Not so…anger, dislike, hate, did not allow thought to be

    Can we instantly attach our ear, and hear only God
    Jesus attached the ear and made the man whole…Jesus
    attached the ear and proved that he/Jesus, was whole…
    isn’t that the whole point

    Melissa Baker

    1. Thank you Melissa, for this wonderful prose. I love the intimate point of view, as if you were there seeing the proceedings from the spiritual view of what was really happening.

      And thank you Evan for this timely subject, as I’m striving to see my brothers in their true spiritual view, and changing my thought about them. Right onward!

  9. …”Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42) Complete subjugation of human will was modeled by the Master in Gethsemene when his betrayal was at hand. Doing better to subordinate my will to divine Love, “…follow the leadings of truth”. (SH 151).. and trust the holy Spirit to lead “me and mine and all” (hymn 207: 2) is my ongoing prayer.

  10. This is so helpful, brilliant Evan, and beloved commenters. I am grateful. ” Jesus exercised dominion over frustration and anger and maintained a spiritual perspective, knowing that, one way or the other, Truth would win the day and ignorance would be corrected.”
    I will be pondering this for some time, reminding myself that the Christ dominion is within me. too. For the glory of God!!!

  11. Marianne Williamson for President in 2020 is expressing Christ-like ideas that are changing the conversation. She needs 2% in 3 more polls in order to qualify for the third Democratic debate. May the Truth of the Christ be with her!!!

  12. Love-love-love this Spirit View. Right up my alley as I am working with a few things in this connection at the moment. So, it comes down to (or up to):
    “Owe no man anything but to love one another.”
    I can hear sighs of relief emerging right now
    .. mine with them…!

  13. This is just what I needed this morning, but will still have to pray with it to see how I can apply it to the frustration I’m having with a government agency. After having spending over an hour trying to get through their phone menu and either being cut off or just put on hold endlessly, a friend offered to help. He had exactly the same results, which made me feel not so dumb, but hasn’t resolved the issue. I am at a loss as how to proceed. I’m trying to see all of God’s creation as governed by the divine Mind, including government employees. God, Principle, is supreme in the physical realm and I need to see this as fact, not just wishful thinking!

  14. YES! THIS blog covers so much that I need to work on.
    Thanks everyone…This is to be printed out for more study.

  15. Thank you Evan, so profound and often hard to do with our children. I learned a lot from your post today. Always grateful to you.

  16. Thank you Evan, for the spiritual view of today’ s topic!

    It is important to exercise dominion over frustration, impatience and anger, and put everything into God’s hand. Most able I am to do this, after I thoroughly studied the weekly lesson sermon. That opens my thinking to God’s government in each situation coming up to me every day.
    That also enables me to listen more patiently to what my neighbor has to say to me.
    For my part I am eager to learn to listen to others more lovingly, however first of all to listen what God has to say to me!
    Am so grateful for SpiritView and the healing teachings of Christian Science

  17. Thank you all – esp Evan- for the blessings, thoughts, and encouragement in revisiting a very challenging
    Family situation! I now see the adjustment I need to hold to- but gave up on- during a particularly challenging time❤️

  18. Thank you all.

    Well, “what to do when people won’t listen? “ I try and listen ….for “Thy voice.”

  19. when things seem to be going off the rails, I remember the first essay I read in CS, God’s Law of Adjustment by Adam H. Dickey. It was so profound for me to learn that there was a power that adjusted events and made them harmonious and was always present.

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.