Are you a good listener?
James tells the audience to be “quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” In effect James has taken their (our) natural emotional right to act on our feelings from us. He tells us to be slow to speak and to be angry. He doesn’t tell the person speaking to do this. He tells the person who is listening to do this. In fact, James tells the hearer to be “quick to listen.” A number of problems could be resolved if both parties actually heard what the other person was saying or trying to convey.
There’s a TV commercial that shows a man taking the ultimate test. His test is to listen to his wife for five seconds. If he can successfully focus on her for such a long period of grueling pain then he will be rewarded. In the end, our hero is able to withstand the torturous five seconds and he is rewarded. His reward is “the” coveted ice cream cake. Yes, an ice cream cake. Unlike the dubious person in the commercial, our rewards are far more valuable and rewarding if we listen better to one another. We can:
- Fully understand the person
- Sympathize with them and their issue(s)
- Help them through the issue(s)
- Help to clarify an issue(s)
- Provide them with a type of therapeutic relief (a shoulder to cry on or a person to allow them to vent their pain to)
- The list goes on.
Your assignment, if you choose to take it is to listen more to the people you come in contact with. If you do this, you’ll find that they think you are a great listener and a great conversationalist. They’ll think that because you didn’t interrupt them three times before they finished their thought.
You’ll also reduce the possibility of getting anger over something that may not be the case. My wife and I have had an argument or two over the course of our marriage. I recall telling her once that, “You’re mad about something that I never said.” She realized that and the situation slowly but surely dissolved. Likewise, she has shown me that I was thinking something that wasn’t true. If I had listen then I would have realized what the situation really was.
Remember the question I started with? Are you a good listener? We do not want the devil to get a foothold into our lives. Lets make sure we understand each other. I’m certain if we all tried to be better listeners…you get the point. I think you hear me.
As children of God, we want to be uplifting to one another. Bless you and have a better listening week.