My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry… – James 1:19
Albert Einstein was invited to speak at a banquet held in his honor at Swarthmore College. Hundreds of people from all over the country crowded an auditorium to hear what he had to say. When it came time for him to speak, the greatest physicist walked to the lectern, solemnly looked around, and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I am very sorry, but I have nothing to say.” Then he sat down.
The audience was in shock. A few seconds later, Einstein got up, walked back to the podium, and spoke again. “In case I have something to say, I will come back and say it.” Six months later he wired the president of the college with the message: “Now I have something to say.” Another dinner was held, and Einstein made his speech.
It’s been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth for the simple reason that we should listen more often than we speak. Yet for many Christians today, relationships are breaking down for the simple reason that people are forgetting how to listen to each other.
You never hear of someone sticking his foot in his ears—only his mouth! So when it comes to interacting with others, listen before you speak. Prefer others and let them talk. Listening, not talking, is the key to keeping peace and building solid relationships that honor God!
Ask God to show you people with whom you can be quick to listen and slow to speak.
Questions for thought
Can you think of a time in the past when you spoke too soon? How did that effect your witness?
What are some relationships where you need to focus on listening?