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“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).
When I was younger, I love to talk (usually about myself!). As I advance in age, one of the things I learned is that listening is the best way to communicate and grow. This lesson was brought to me forcefully during a field trip about 20 years ago. I was with a colleague whose one goal in mind seemed to be to talk about her life experiences. Whatever topic we talked about, she had a story to tell about herself. I was struck by how such a trait discourages two-way communication. More importantly, I was rebuked by the same tendency I saw in myself.
Since then I resolved to be more of a listener than a talker. One time I had a long conversation with an uncle in which I hardly spoke and merely listened. Afterwards, I heard him comment that we had a great conversation! He appreciated me more because I listened. Too many times, we want to tell our stories rather than listen to others. In the process we fail to truly communicate.
As a side bonus, I noticed that when I listen, I also grow in knowledge. Each person I talk to has a unique story to tell or a new knowledge of share. Finally, I believe that a lot of conflicts will be avoided if we learn to listen first rather than talk first.
I encourage everyone to study not just to be good speakers but perhaps more importantly to be good listeners!
Pastor Rodel, thanks for this blog. I can relate to this subject. That's right! More of a listener than always do talking because the sin of pride might be hiding behind all these. By God's grace I will discipline myself to apply these truth to me. God bless!