Be still, and listen…

“I like to listen.

I have learned a great deal from listening carefully.

Most people never listen.”

Ernest Hemingway

The first thing that ran through my mind this morning when I read this quote was a verse from book of James; ‘Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;’ James 1:19

Oh how challenging it can be in today’s world to follow this advice and live it outwardly on a daily basis. There is so much going on that it can feel like you have to take advantage of any and all space to say what it is you want to say. In many ways ‘space’ in conversations or relationship has become uncomfortable and viewed as something that must be filled.

The challenge in our world today is that instead of listening to understand, or listening to learn, our society is wired to listen to speak, even if the person who wants to speak has little or no knowledge on a given subject. Everyone has something to say, very few have a willingness to really listen to what someone else might be thinking.

How many ways today can you find opportunities to listen, to really listen to what others have to say? Can you intentionally sit back and listen and turn off the voice in your mind that is crafting a response even as others speak? As written in the Old Testament there is ‘a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;’ Ecclesiastes 3:7

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