“What did you say? I wasn’t listening.”
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Are you a good listener? When someone has something important to say or when they are trying to share good advice. Do you listen? Or are you formulating a thought to interject in the middle of their sentence and cut them off so that you can say what is on your mind? If you are the type to interrupt, you may not be as good of a listener as you could be. We could all be better listeners. Listening is just a good idea when it comes to communication between people. Active listening tells the speaker that you care about what they have to say. What does the bible say about listening? It actually says a lot.
Most people believe that they communicate as well or more successfully than the people they are engaging with. That would imply that most people are better than average listeners. Does this make you one of the people who don’t need to improve your listening skills?
James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
Why do I need to do that?
Here are a few reasons. So you listen and take in the information given instead of blocking it out while you are formulating your reply that turns out to be an interruption of their words. So that you don’t say something in the moment that could cost you a relationship long term. And so that you don’t do or say anything while angry that will cause damage.
If you are in a role of responsibility like a parent, co-worker, a leader, supervisor or manager, listen. To be effective in any of these roles, effective listening shows the people who are communicating to you, that they are important. It shows concern and nurtures bonds, commitment, and trust. Effective listening minimizes conflict and increases the likelihood that when conflicts do emerge they will be resolved faster. You will even learn about the people around you which aids in intentional engagement and a thoughtfulness.
Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”
Are you the smartest person in the room? Me either. When you listen to advice and accept instruction to gain wisdom in the future, you will improve yourself the way God wants you to improve. You will absorb information given to you by a speaker, showing that you are also willing to learn from others.
Proverbs 18:13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
The bible is full of scripture about listening. Start with submission to God and listening very closely to Him. Listen to the people in your life that he has surrounded you with. Have you ever had an experience that you wanted to share and when that moment came, the listener started talking in the middle of your sentence? You mentioned a camping trip or a great meal you just had. Halfway through your message, they interrupt with telling you about their camping trip or the last great meal they had. When they are done speaking, they move on and you never get to tell what you wanted to tell. Don’t be that person. Sometimes, the story is for the person speaking. Show the people around you that if they have something important to say, it is important to you. God has given us so much advice on listening to Him and to others. If we do what he says, we can only get better at it. We may even become wiser and help someone in our path to know they are important enough to hear.
I appreciate all of you and look forward to seeing you this Sunday.