Thursday, June 13, 2013

Listening, Really Listening

Hey Friend,

And God said, "Let there be light"...  (Genesis 1:3)

God spoke and in four simple words he brought forth light in the midst of primeval darkness; light that was necessary for everything He would speak into existence.

God did not go on ad nauseum about what the light would do.  He didn't pontificate about His whole creative process and His reasoning behind it.  He simply created and spoke everything into existence with just the right amount of words.  In one chapter, in one book of the Bible, all of Heaven and Earth were created and spoken into existence.

What can I/we learn from this? That we need to measure our words.  Just because there are thousands of words in the English language, does not mean that we have to use them all.

I had a teacher who once told me, "You have two ears and one mouth.  Use them proportionately."

In other words, I need to listen more and speak less.  Having gone through some very difficult times, the friends and family that helped me the most were the ones who listened - truly listened.

But, I'm a slow learner.  Now, when I'm trying to help a friend going through a difficult time, I am the first person to get on myself for not being able to come up with something profound to say.  My friend does not want profound, they just want me...silent, attentive, listening.

He who answers before listening - that is his folly and his shame.  (Proverbs 18:13)

Why is this so hard to grasp?  Because we are, by nature, "fixers".  And how better to fix than with advice?  We fill the gap of silence with "oughts", "shoulds" and "musts". - words that drag down instead of lifting up. few words need to be filled with grace and love.

He who loves a pure heart and whose speech in gracious will have the king for his friend.  (Proverbs 22:11)

How often, when I am trying to listen, am I really preparing what I'm going to say next?  Bev, get over yourself and bite the tongue in your brain and truly focus on listening and then, and only then, speak.  But, do not speak in haste.

Do you see a man who speaks in haste?  There is more hope for a fool than for him.  (Proverbs 29:20)

If this sounds like "Remedial Listening 101" is because I need it.  The Proverbs are full of warnings to those, like me, who can tend to run at the mouth.  Proverbs has a word for people who do that..."fools".

Okay, so I'm working on the whole listening thing, But what does God say about what I should say when I do say something?

An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.  (Proverbs 24:26)

Honest can be translated "truthful".  Whose truth...God's truth as based on scripture.  As much as I like my own words, only God's words offer life, healing and hope.

If you know someone facing difficult times will you pray this prayer with me?

Lord, help me first to really listen, to be gracious when I do speak, to not speak in haste and to speak only Your truth.  Amen.




  1. Okay I just want to say, I love you!!! Truly. You bless me my friend. You should do a daily devotional book. This was packed with so many fabulous verses and then added with your own beautiful words. It's so true isn't it that many times we want to "fix" it when the person on the other end simply wants us to listen. This encourages me to memorize scripture too for those times when I feel as though words are needed...what better than to give them God's Words.
    Much love to you. (((hugs)))

  2. Beth,
    The love goes both ways!! Maybe I will work on a devotional book someday?! Always open to what God is calling me to do...It's amazing how God will give me the right scripture at the right time when my own words fail me. He's truly amazing. Thanks so much for your encouragement! With much love and ((hugs)), Bev

  3. Enjoyed looking at your blog. I found it through a post someone did on facebook. It directed me to the post on post about "Behind every door." Beautiful wrote. I made some notes from it. I had a friend going through a hard time with their teenager. I thought of how they looked on the outside as a family with few problems. Remembering we all have broken times in our personal "story" helps us learn where to turn for our answers.

  4. Brenda,
    So glad you stopped by...yes, so often we think other people have it all together, but if you only knew what was going on behind the door, hopefully we'd all have less judgment and more compassion! The teenage years can be some of the toughest (I speak from personal experience). Blessings to you and to your friend as well, Bev

  5. Bev, you wrote such a truth about this! How do you already write things that I constantly think about? :)
    And it's such a truth: we're just quiet and listen because we plan our next sentence. And I really get nervous when the conversation is quiet and we don't speak any words more than one minute! Why does conversation is so hard, why do we need so much words instead of patience and silence? I'm praying for you and me. Keeping silent is the key for helping on hearing!!
    Be blessed,

  6. Sonja,
    A wise person once told me...God gave you two ears and one mouth. Use them proportionately. Wise words indeed. I can be a chatty cathy and have had to learn to reel in my words a little bit. When we tune into Christ's presence in us, we automatically become better listeners. Thank you for your prayers...I need them!
    Blessings to you,


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