Learn to Listen
James 1:19 “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
Have you ever said something and immediately wished you could take back what you said. I think all of us have had those moments or if you haven’t, you will. Maybe it was in the heat of an argument or disagreement. It could have been simply because we said the wrong thing and inserted our foot in our mouth. The reality is, it is easy to say something we will later regret. Sometimes I think it might be better to just put some tape over my mouth so I keep quiet.
In the end, I have learned a couple things. First, that God gave us two eyes, two ears and one mouth so we should watch and listen twice as much as we speak. Learning to listen is extremely important. Listening let’s someone know you care because you have invested your time to hear what they have to say. That makes the person feel important. For me personally I have learned this with my son and wife. There are times I have listened to them as I worked on my laptop, iPad or cell phone but the reality was, I was not listening. I am especially bad about that when I am listening to someone on the phone because they are not there to see me multitask. This has gotten me in hot water more than once and I had to learn to shut off the TV, close the laptop or whatever device I was using to focus on listening to what the other person had to say.
The other thing to realize besides learning to listen is that our words matter. What we say has the ability to lift people up or tear them down. Basically we can be an encourager or a discourager. The truth is finding fault is easy, no one is perfect so every single one of us has faults that can be found if we look hard enough. On the other hand choosing to look at what is good in a person is completely different.
Take time today and learn to listen to what someone else is saying, make them feel welcome and important. Then make the commitment to build the people around you up. Says something nice even if they are not being nice to you.