How good are you at listening? That is not one of my strengths either…but, by the grace of God, that will improve. It is very important to be a good listener. Shakespeare once said, “Lend every man thy ear, but few thy voice.” That is natural wisdom at its best. God’s wisdom goes one better. James 1:19 states, “…everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” I see a pattern of direction here. If you are quick to listen, you just might hear some of the other guy’s feelings, needs and observations. If you are slow to speak, you just might have enough time to let God give you the wisest reply needed in the situation. And if your steam engine is not running on high and ready to explode from your mouth, then you just might be able to be slow to anger.
When people come to you with their troubles, you may discover that you have a “birth defect”…your “ear bone” is connected to your “mouth bone”! When patience, understanding and encouragement are most needed, you give advice, platitudes and a bunch of “my experiences top that”, kind of stories.
The burdened that come to you needing to lessen the burden are looking for an “ear bone” connected to a “heart bone”. Let’s work on giving them that.
Always remember, “listen” and “silent” are made of the same six letters! Endure the fire…it’s producing pure gold!