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
Well known author Chuck Swindoll once found himself with too many commitments in too few days. He got nervous and tense about it. “I was snapping at my wife and our children, choking down my food at mealtimes, and feeling irritated at those unexpected interruptions through the day,” he recalled in his book “Stress Fractures”. “Before long, things around our home started reflecting the patter of my hurry-up style. It was becoming unbearable.
“I distinctly remember after supper one evening, the words of our younger daughter, Colleen. She wanted to tell me something important that had happened to her at school that day. She began hurriedly, ‘Daddy, I wanna tell you somethin’ and I’ll tell you really fast.’
“Suddenly realizing her frustration, I answered, ‘Honey, you can tell me — and you don’t have to tell me really fast. Say it slowly.” “I’ll never forget her answer: ‘Then listen slowly.'”
We live in such a fast-paced world. Everyone is in such a hurry to get somewhere, anywhere, and oftentimes….really nowhere at all. As we live our lives each day, we have the opportunity to reveal to others that they matter to us. How can we accomplish this? Simply by taking the time to listen. I’ve honestly tried to improve this lost art in my own life but I still fall short from time to time…just ask my dear sweet wife. Many times she will be telling me something and before she even begins, I’m already lending my solutions without fully giving her my undivided attention. What can I say..I truly believe this is a man thing….as by nature, we men automatically try to fix things. But when it comes to actively listening men, we need to pay attention, shut up, and give our spouses, our children/grandchildren and families our duly unswerving attention. The writer of Proverbs 18:13 instructs us...”If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” As difficult as the pill may be to swallow, when we do this, we basically are expressing to the other person that “what I have to say is of far more importance than what you are telling me” and that “I really don’t value you or what you have to say”.
Furthermore, how often do we come to God with our list of wishes and wants instead of simply taking the time to fellowship with Him. Just to be with Him and not ask for anything but to simply listen to that still small voice that so desperately craves our fellowship and time alone spent in His Word or in prayer which is simply talking to God. I believe with my whole being friend that God speaks to us more often than we realize but we’re simply not in a place to hear Him as we are not listening or we’ve gotten much too busy to know when He is speaking. How can we know or recognize someone’s voice if we’ve never been in their presence to distinguish it from among so many others around us. Jesus told his followers in John 10:27 that “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
I pray we willingly begin to choose to take the time to get in God’s presence each day and spend some quality time with Him and be slow to speak and quick to listen as He makes Himself known. He said “Be still, and know that I am God;” – Psalm 46:10
For His Kingdom,