“Time To Listen”
By Zach Wood
“Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.”
I’ve read this passage so many times from the NIV, but the other day I read it from the NLT in a devo book that I recently purchased. This translation just struck me in a way it hasn’t before. I’m not even going to ask how many of us have struggled with speaking before listening. Why? Because every single one of us have done this and later really regretted not listening first.
I so much wish I could go back in time and first listen before speaking to so many people that I either misunderstood or hurt because I was so foolish not to first listen. Even if I didn’t agree with what the person was saying, I still should have listened to at least show that I respected how the person felt. I cannot go back and change those times, but what I can do is learn and remember for the future when I do get into a conversation that I need to listen completely before responding.
Christ calls us to love and to be compassionate toward others, no matter how we are treated. There are many people we come in contact with that say things we don’t agree with and share advice with us that we don’t like. What I have learned, and am still learning, that when I’m talking to someone who is offering their opinion, no matter how much I disagree, that I need to fully listen to every word before I respond.
I’ve learned that sometimes this shows so much more respect and love for others than trying to tell them about Christ. Showing His love through our actions. Showing His love as we listen to people, respect their perspective and talking with them. It’s okay if we don’t always agree. That’s just not going to happen! We won’t always agree. However, as we learn from this proverb, we must work harder in our lives to stop and listen to what others are sharing with us and hear them out fully before we even attempt to respond.
It’s truly amazing what we come to learn when we actually take the time to listen to people, learn the facts, understand how they feel and where they are coming from before we even attempt to give any response. God can do some amazing work in our hearts and minds when we take the time to listen closely.
Many of us (myself included) have a bad habit of interrupting others when they are speaking, whether it is to support or disagree with what is being said. But I look at dialog between Job and his friends and see a good thing: in spite of the disagreement and frustration, each let the other speak fully before offering his rebuttal. This is something I need to learn from.ReplyDelete