By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“We do God’s work for our brothers and sisters when we learn to listen to them.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I’m sure all of us have been in a conversation with someone who never lets you get a word in. Someone who always talks over you or always cuts you off. Someone who is always willing to speak but never takes time to listen.
If you have never met a person like that, well, then maybe. . . you are that person.
I may only be kidding, but the fact of the matter is that each and every one of us might have problems listening. We all engage in most conversations not listening, but simply waiting for our turn to speak.
I think that Scripture has something to say about this
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
I’m a big believer in the fact that whenever we are struggling with a situation, someone’s words rarely solve our problems. However, a good listener can make a world of difference.
Sometimes it just takes someone sitting down, looking us in the eye, and really listening to us. It lets us pour out all of our struggles. It allows us to get things of our chest.
Many times, when someone lays all of their troubles out to a listening ear they aren’t expecting advice or a solution. Sometimes all that we have to say is, “Wow. That sounds really difficult. Can I pray with you?”
Many times, our listening and our prayers can make a difference in someone’s situation.
In many ways, listening is a form of showing our love for someone else. It’s the giving of our time and our attention in order to really, truly hear someone out.
So next time you’re having a conversation, challenge yourself to talk less than the person you’re talking to. Rather than waiting for your turn to speak, ask questions to gain more insight into what they are trying to say.
If someone is going through a hard time and you know about it, make sure they know that you are a listening ear if they ever need to talk.
Be slow to speak.
Be quick to listen.
Parents: Read your children this Bible verse from James. Ask them to tell you what they think it means. Explain to them that when someone is hurting, sometimes all we can do is listen to them.