It’s interesting to note that in a world of sound bite journalism, research by scrolling, and studying by cliffnotes- we rarely take the time to listen to one another. When was the last time you spent time listening intently to what another person had to say? If you have listened recently, Great! , but if you’re like the majority of us in this modern age, you may not have been listening quite intently as you should.
James 1 says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” In this verse, the idea of being swift to hear is clearly contrasted with being slow to speak and slow to wrath. Did you catch the meaning here?
If you listen to another, you are saying that their thoughts, ideas, feelings, and concerns are worth your time and attention. But if you are constantly eager to speak, and say what you want- and you are easily moved to anger, you are too much focused on yourself.
God tells us that every man should be “swift to hear.” He should be speedy to hear. He should run to hear. It should be something he’s fast at. You don’t get fast at something you do every once in a while. If you want speed, you have to practice. Listening should be something you’ve trained himself to do. Get the idea?
When Christ was on this earth, He took the time to hear the concerns of others. He listened, and then He spoke. If the God of the universe would listen to His own creation, shouldn’t we? After all, isn’t genuine listening a natural result of genuine love?
How many times have you heard that someone was grateful to another because they listened? Sometimes the wise words aren’t necessary- just the ear.
I challenge you, be swift to hear. During this next year take the time to hear what others say. Let us put others first and make it a point to value their ideas and concerns. Let’s show Christ’s love by listening. It doesn’t take supernatural skill or immense intelligence to do. Just a willing heart.