03 May When Do I Listen?
Read James 1:19-20 (NLT)
Thought for the Day: Listening comes first!
Have you ever wondered something like:
“I want to listen but I don’t know how to start. I love Jesus as well as my neighbor, but the idea of sitting down and being available to simply listen to someone sounds a little scary. I would much rather sit down and fill the time with conversation – plus, I’m always very good at finding ways to fill the space. After all, I have much to share and the idea of awkward silence makes me cringe. Whenever things go quiet, I want to speak up because silence itself really bothers me…”
For many of us, slowing down and taking time to listen – to really hear someone – is NOT natural. We know deep down that it is the right thing to do, but listening goes against our nature. However, listening, really listening without immediately talking, can make all the difference. There are times to speak, but how will we ever know what to say in response to others if we are unwilling to first take the time to really hear them?
Consider the words of James, the brother of Jesus. He was an important leader in the Early Church. He put it this way, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
Perhaps James came to this understanding because his brother, Jesus, was taken from him at such an early age. Too often when we fail to listen to others, we aren’t thinking about the fact that now is a precious moment. Let’s never think that we have more time than today. Each day is a gift. After all, like James the brother of Jesus, if we learn to listen to others today, we won’t have to wish tomorrow that we could go back in time to really hear.
Pastors Stan and David