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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ok I'll listen...but hurry, I have something to say!

James 1:19
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

I have to confess, this scripture gets me sometime. I have struggled with the speed at which I listen.

Quick to listen, slow to speak…

I get the quick part.
I’m quick.
Quick to form and opinion.
Quick to spout off what I’m thinking.
Quick with a sassy come back.
Quick to finish someone’s sentence before they can get the words out of their mouth…oh, just hesitate a second and I’ll take care of it for you.

But, quick to listen, and slow to speak… surely that is someone else's calling.
(low pitch-loud-annoying buzzing sound) Wrong answer!

James even said in v. 19, “take note of this.”
Ok, I understand taking notes, I carry a notebook with me at all times because when I get an idea or remember something, I have to write it down or it’s gone.

James knew that about me, so he said- take note.
Write it down girlfriend because you WILL forget this one.

The Amplified version says that we should be “a ready listener.”

A ready listener, I like that. It puts me in an active stance instead of feeling that I am just a passive listener.

People have stories to tell and I have realized lately that when I take the time
to listen, I am deeply touched. It may be something that I need to hear or it
may be that the Lord wants to use my experiences to help them through a
struggle.

The point is, if I don’t take the time to listen, I’ll never know.

I have a feeling that I’m not the only one who might deal with this. So, let’s commit together to work on this. Yes, we have a lot to say…but so do others.

If we take the time to listen, we might find that the Lord has something quite important to say to us.

Here are a couple more thoughts from God’s Word about listening:
Prov 19:20
20 Listen to advice and accept instruction,
and in the end you will be wise.
NIV

Prov 22:17
17 Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise
NIV

And of course, the most important One that we should take the time to listen to
is our Lord.
John 10:27
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and
they follow Me.
NKJV
The more time we spend in His Word and prayer, the
more we will recognize His voice, and the closer we will follow.

Father,
Help us to place value on others by taking the time to listen to them. Don’t let us fall into a selfish trap of thinking that our words are more important than anyone elses.
And most of all Lord, help us to know Your voice and follow none other.
Give us a hunger to know You more deeply and spend time in Your Word and prayer.
Thank you for Your faithfulness in our lives, may our listening heart be a beautiful reflection of You Lord.
In Jesus Name,
Amen


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22 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

Amen.

December 2, 2008 at 12:19 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

I am laughing out loud over the timeliness of this! This is so right in line with The Talks God and I have been having lately. Basically, "Susan, shut up and listen!"

Thanks for helping to drive it home, Sue!

Hugs and blessings...Susan

December 2, 2008 at 6:30 AM  
Blogger amy said...

Our church Bible study, "The Mine," is working through the book of James right now. One of the key points that our teaching pastor made in relation to James 1 is that "listening is connected to loving." Wow! Never thought of it THAT way. If I profess to love others--as we should, being called by the Lord--then am I showing them I love them even if I am not a good listener, but rather a clanging cymbal? Probably not. I am realizing that listening is as much a heart attitude as it is a learned skill.

Thanks, Sue, for the timely thoughts!

December 2, 2008 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger lynnmosher said...

Oh, Sue, it is within my personality to listen. I try to really practice but I still need this reminder, especially to listen to the Lord. Thank you. Great post! Blessings...

December 2, 2008 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Amydeanne said...

oh ya! i have such a hard time with this one these days!

December 2, 2008 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Betsy Markman said...

Hoo boy...now you're meddling...
:)
Seriously, this is a tough one for me too. Thanks for this reminder.

December 2, 2008 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Kim @ My Journey said...

Oh what a great word today. I need to be reminded of this daily (if not hourly). What a different witness I would be to everyone God placed in my path if I lived this out. Thanks for the great reminder!

December 2, 2008 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Laury said...

This is so true. Thank you for this timely message!

December 2, 2008 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger karin said...

It's just that the dear seniors (and some of the staff!) in my line of work tell me the same things day in and day out and I get so tired of hearing the same complaints, negativity, whining all the time!

Yes, it's especially then I need you to listen with love, kindness and compassion!!! I will give you the words to speak, after you have truly listened!

I hear you Lord. Thanks for always listening to me.

Thanks for this devotional.

December 2, 2008 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Ok I fall into both the listener and talker catagory...but I find it a struggle to be in the listener catagory with my husband...this is a great message!!!

December 2, 2008 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Walking on High Hills said...

I pray we have ears to hear Lord!

To hear you, when you speak to us and even the little ones that you've placed around us that we are raising every day!

December 2, 2008 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Smelling Coffee said...

This was so convicting! It seems like the Lord brings me this "reminder" often - and I still struggle with it!!! I think this beautifully applies to every relationship we have - husbands, children, Jesus, friends, parents, neighbors, strangers... Oh, Jesus, please help me to be quick to listen and slow to speak!

December 2, 2008 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Tänia said...

This really spoke volumes to me. It seems that my mouth tends to run at hyper speed while my brain is slow to catch up on what is actually being said. In other words, my mouth runneth over. People just want to be heard.

I remember years ago, my granddaughter was frustrated and angry with her parents. She was being very tacky when we would try and speak with her and I asked her what the problem was. Her answer? "No one hears me Nana."

Oh my, all our grandbaby wanted was to be heard. I sat down with her and said, "Tell Nana all about it sweetie." I listened as she poured her little heart out about something that was very minor but meant alot to her.

I thought about my own relationship with my grown children. Do I listen? Do I hear their hurts and fears? Do I keep my advice to myself and just hear them out?

I fall short of using my ears instead of my mouth. And I continually ask the Lord to remind me when I need to shut up and listen up.

Thank you for reminding me that I need to do just that and to be available for those whose hearts just need to be heard. For I always want to reflect Christ in ALL my actions.

December 2, 2008 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Praise and Coffee said...

That is funny, "my mouth runneth over" LOL.

I love all your input, more conviction -in a good way of course!

I only meddle with you because He's meddling with me :)

Sue

December 2, 2008 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Joanne Sher said...

Ooooh yes. I'm right there with ya, girl! Soooo hard to do. Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement!

December 2, 2008 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Neat post! I could do with a reminder. Isn't it great that God is good at listening to us? Thank you, Father, thank you Lord Jesus and dear Holy Spirit. :-)

December 2, 2008 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Yep, I am forever working on this. Especially with poor hubby.

December 2, 2008 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Elaine Bateman said...

Yes,siree Bob! Thank you for the reminder especially now during the Holidays when we all see family and friends! On a daily basis when we need to listen more with our husbands and kids! Thank you so much for a timely devotional!

December 2, 2008 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger candypb said...

Feel's good to think about this subject today. I have always been a talker, but I am seeing a change happening in my life. What a blessing!
I think I've missed out on a lot from my "chatter."

December 2, 2008 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

I love the book of James..
Maybe I should put this on a sticky note and read it when driving in the heavy Grand Rapids traffic..truly a verse to have when someone cuts you off on snow covered roads...."SLOW TO SPEAK AND SLOW TO ANGER."
I love it, thanks!

December 2, 2008 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger TCKK said...

Amen and thank you. I needed this reminder!

December 2, 2008 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger Esthermay said...

Book of James: all time favorite. See, James is my personality-type: To the point. Blunt. Sharp tounge. Says it like it is. Much to be said for Truth and discernment as presented by a guy like James.

And shame on you for "listening" in on my life and writing this for all the blog-world to see.

Like most commenters today, I too was convicted. Yes. I. Was.
Thank you for timely post.
. . . I think you are my new facebook friend! Yep. Someone "set us up" you know!
:-)

Blessings on you and yours.
Great devotional for today and always.
~esthermay

December 2, 2008 at 9:31 PM  

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