With all this talk we are listening to others? If we are having trouble hearing others we are probably talking so much we don’t hear God either. He is the One who has much to say, and what He says is way more important than what we have to say.
God speaks, in the Bible, of the riches of His mercy in Christ. He broadcasts His forgiveness and love. He announces the wonder of redemption. He calls us to repent and invites us to draw near.
Those who trust and obey God learn to adjust the speed of their listening and speaking. If God is truly in control, we can afford to take the time to understand. Rather than shooting from the hip, we can respond in a way that is helpful. Doubting that God is in control speeds up our mouth and slows down our mind.
James 1:19-20 NLT Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
As believers, we shouldn't be obsessed with ensuring that we are heard and understood in order to get what we want. When we act according to our immediate desires, and our immediate reactions, we feel a lack of control. And when we feel like we're losing control, we will get angry.
Anger is a human emotion that everyone experiences, and it can sometimes be justified, but as the scripture makes clear we can learn to control—or at least slow down—our angry responses. In fact, to refuse to let anger control us is itself an act of faith. It is a choice to believe that the God is in control, that He loves us, and that He is good.
So what’s the big deal? Anger and disagreements can cause great damage to people, to relationships and to the effectiveness of our witness when we are quick to argue our positions, defend our views and push our opinions. Great good is done when we discipline ourselves to postpone defending our own views and judging other's views when we concentrate on listening in order to understand another point of view. Good listening is a protection against disagreement that leads to discord. Good listening helps to administer God's love for other's healing and strengthening. The result strengthens our witness of the goodness of Jesus, and increases other folk's ability to live a life of righteousness.
If we allow the Holy Spirit to control us and we exhibit the fruit of the spirit; love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, as it says in Galatians 5:22-23 NIV, we can start changing habits and behavior.
When we discipline ourselves to listen more than we talk, we can learn a lot. Big talkers are hard to teach. They think they already know everything they need to know, and they constantly express their opinions. Wise people have learned that more wisdom can be gained by listening, and observing, and not rushing to judgment.
Proverbs 10:19 NIV Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.
There’s an old saying, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” How many relationships have been damaged or ruined because we were slow to listen and quick to speak? How many mistakes could have been avoided had we only listened instead of talked?
Most of us are not naturally quick to listen, but we can train ourselves to be better listeners. Good listening is active. It engages with the other person. It understands their perspective, even if we disagree. When people feel heard, they are more willing to listen to our side. Being quick to listen actually opens the door to greater communication because listening shows respect, and when people feel respected, they are more likely to return that respect and listen to us. It is important for us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. God’s Word always shows us the best way, and when we follow it, we are blessed.
Learn the discipline of silence so you can hear what the Lord wants to teach you. He’s speaking; are you listening?