Learn to Listen

There are some powerful verses in scripture regarding the importance of listening.  Some of us like me have to really work at this.  James 1:19 give us a clear command that is ultra-important in relationships, “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”  The old saying about having two ears and one mouth meaning that your ears should be used twice as much as your mouth when engaging another person.  This definitely is wise advice. 

Notice what the Bible says about the speaker who speaks before he listens.  Proverbs 18:13 declares, 13 To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.  Listen without judgment and hold your advice until you are sure you know the whole story.  Speaking before listening blocks or delays the resolution of problems.  If you are hasty and judgmental, you can bet others will not want to share anything of significance with you.

One who truly listens shows value to the speaker giving them a gift of desiring to genuinely understand them.  Philippians 2:3b-4 challenges each of us “in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”   Notice that true, healthy, safe conversation starts with an attitude of “humility…not looking to your own interests.”

Proverbs 15:14 speaks clearly to us, “The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”  If you want to be wise, one with a discerning heart, you learn from others which comes from being a good listener. 

Plans fail because we do not listen to the counsel of other.  Proverbs 15:22 explains to us, Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Become intentional, mindful and purposeful about being a great listener.  Choose to be quiet and in humility value others by listening.

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