11 May The Privilege of Listening
Read James 1:19-21
Thought for the Day: Today, I will listen first!
Recently, my wife and I took our son to Boston for a hearing test. At the end of the appointment, we walked away knowing that little Henry has full hearing ability in both ears. But, during the multiple hours of testing, I wondered what it would be like to grow up without the physical ability needed to listen to those around us. For many of us, hearing is something we take for granted. But, not everyone is so fortunate. It really is a privilege to be able to hear and listen.
Throughout the ages, humans have struggled with effective listening. It is easy to quickly respond or speak at the times we should instead listen. While this tendency is understandable, it is not the best way. Instead, Christians are to “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger”. How often do we find ourselves making situations worse by reacting when we should instead be listening?
As we go through our lives, let’s learn to exercise one of the greatest skills we have: the gift of listening. At times when we find it easy to overreact or get in the final word, let’s remember that listening is a privilege. In a world where sharing opinions loudly for all to hear has become the norm, let’s remember that God’s word shows us a different way. We are called to listen before speaking.
By prioritizing listening and setting aside strong feelings like anger, we can experience the righteousness of God. With this perspective, we can embrace listening and remember that God’s ways are always better. Today, let’s practice the gift of listening that God has given each one of us!