Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: – James 1:19
Meditation: I am a talker by nature. I love a great conversation and even more a good story. Learning to listen has taken time and experience for me. From observation, I believe many people struggle in this area. Listening is hard.
Do you want to be heard first? Is your perspective more important? Does quiet disturb you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are like me and most people. Since we yearn to be valued and our value is often measured by our contribution, we feel the need to interrupt or interject our opinions. Even when we are silent, we often find ourselves thinking of what we want to say in response or how best to phrase our statements in the most compelling or perhaps unoffensive way. Real listening is hard.
If we take the time to set aside our thoughts and just hear others, communication becomes a dialogue between peers instead of a competition. Instead of worrying about what we can say to out do someone, we can relate to their state of mind. As it relates to prayer and our desire to communicate with God, sometimes silence is the best option. Just read, pray for revelation and wait in earnest expectation.
Call to Action: Contemplate the meaning of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” How does stillness enable our appreciation of the divine?