“The Lost Art Of Listening”
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.
There are a lot of situations in life that we must take the time to understand so that we can learn. We spend our young lives taking directions and instructions not only from our parents, but also from our teachers at school as our bodies and brains grow and we absorb valuable lessons. We spend years and years feeding our brains information and processing all of it so that we can continue to learn and grow.
One of the greatest lessons in life is the art of listening. It doesn’t do us any good to just listen good enough to get a decent grade and then forget what we’ve learned. When we are taught lessons by whomever, we should always listen and seek to learn so that we can succeed in all situations and circumstances that come our way.
Listening is definitely an art. We learned at a young age the challenges of listening. For some, listening comes naturally as we are eager to learn. For others, listening takes a lot of work because we get distracted and lose track of the lesson being taught. However, I think in some way we all struggle with listening for one reason or another. James knew this and he shares a very powerful passage here as he teaches us that we all need to be quick to listen.
Friends, it’s a sad reality we must face that we have become people who are not quick to listen, and instead are quick to speak and get angry. That seems to be a large majority of people in the world today. So many people get so angry and determined to get their opinions out all before they take time to actually listen to what others say.
What if we actually took the time to listen to others and started learning before going off on our tangents? I’m not trying to get political in any way and I don’t like politics to be honest. I am saying that it is so important, now more than ever, to stop spewing out what we think and feel all the time and take time to actually listen. Most of all, we need to listen to God and let Him guide us.
Instead of us being slow to listen, quick to speak and quick to get angry, we need to take a step back and start being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. If we practiced this in our lives and in the Church today, it would be amazing what we would learn and the love that would abound as we actually took the initiative to listen and love one another.
God, help us to always strive to listen not only to You most of all, but to others as well as we seek to share Your Love.