Take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19
We are bombarded with noises and voices. Since much of what we hear is unpleasant or unimportant, we often don't listen carefully.
There are times when love demands that we listen. When someone is hurting, it may be even more important for us to lend an ear than a helping hand. That person may not want or need advice -- just someone to listen with patience. A few well-chosen encouraging words may be helpful.
When there has been a disagreement between people, there must be some honest speaking and loving listening if the relationship is to be healed. Often we are anxious to say some very honest things but are not willing to listen to one another.
Good listening does not mean just being silent while others speak. A good listener tries to see the problem the way the speaker sees it. He tries to feel for him, experience with him.
We tend to do all the talking also when we pray. It's hard for us to listen to God when He says "forgive"; "be angry but do not sin"; "speak the truth in love"; and "love others as yourself"! If we really listen to God as He speaks in His holy Word, we'll be better listeners to other people.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, by Your suffering You reconciled us to Your Father. Fill us with Your Spirit that we may listen with patience. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)