Can anyone hear me!?

"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” 

 Let me ask you this: When you're in a conversation with someone, are you more interested in hearing their thoughts/opinions/struggle/etc or are you only thinking about what you're going to say next? Are you prideful in the way you listen?

Maybe you've never actually thought about it before. Recently it has bothered me when I feel like a person is not actually paying attention to another person speaking. In fact, some people are really only interested in hearing themselves speak. I bet some of you reading know exactly what I'm talking about and quite honestly, it drives me insane! But I'm glad it does, because it has made me question my listening skills as well as motivate me to listen more and speak less.

Like any other time I wonder about something, I then wonder what God has to say about it. So what does God have to say about listening? Check out these verses:

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

"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

Now the first verse (Proverbs) can mean a variety of things, it could be answering a person before they finish (interrupting); it could be planning out your response before the other person even finishes, or it could be simply saying things carelessly or without really thinking. And God thinks all these things are a man's folly or you could even say, stupidity as well as shame. Furthermore, with the backing of James 1:19, clearly God's intent was for a person to listen to another individual, to understand and to then respond! Often we get the order a bit backwards.

What if I talk too much?
For me, there is something really unappealing for a person who talks too much or a person who speaks things carelessly. Something in me just says: There's something wrong with this picture.
However, I would admit that there probably has been times when I've talked far more than I should, and I regret that. Perhaps you struggle a bit with this too - If you do, I would highly encourage you to be a bit more thoughtful in your speech and to think first and then speak. When a person speaks too often, I think words that are not so pleasing to God are more apt to slip out. By being more thoughtful about your speech, then you're more likely to have conversations that are more glorifying and pleasing to God.

"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."
Proverbs 10:19

"Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few."
Ecclesiastes 5:2

What if I don't listen enough?

 A way to show you really care about someone is by listening to them, and if you're not listening or paying attention to what they think, then perhaps you really don't care as much as it appeared. Something that has really made me want to listen to others is feeling the frustration of not being listened to. We all want to be listened to, don't we? It might be a good idea to remember that, and then provide the same respect by listening just as much, if not more, to others (kind of like the golden rule) as you would want them to do to you.
It's important to note that listening is somewhat of a skill. It takes practice and effort to truly and completely listen to a person. But if you work at it and be selfless by saying no to the flesh and yes to the spirit, listening will become easier and even more of a habit.
Like anything else, the sinful nature within us desires that we be heard, ultimately that everything is about us. NEWSFLASH: It's not. It's all about Jesus. :) It may be a sacrifice to restrain speech and maintain open and listening ears, but it's so worth it, and in the end, is glorifying and pleasing to God!

"A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered."

Proverbs 17:27


  1. I love this Rachel...there was this girl in our youth group who EVERY time she went to state her thoughts on a discussion(she would raise her hand), someone else would just jump right over her(without raising their hands) and say something that typically had nothing to do with the lesson. The youth leader would have a hard time noticing because of all of the "talkative" kids jumping one after the other interrupting each other sometimes. Anyways, my sister and I noticed that she kept getting interrupted or skipped, and that she wasn't getting frustrated week after week. So, my sister made an arrow shaped sign that said(I won't use her real name) "Jamie has something to say!"
    Everytime she raised her hand, and it looked like she was going to be skipped again, my sister would put up the sign, and point it at this girl. The youth leader noticed, and she was able to be called on for once, and say what she had been trying to--it also helped the youth leader to realize that she was continually be skipped, and he was able to keep an eye out for those being jumped over. Anyways, I just wanted to share that incase anyone else notices the same thing in a group setting like youth group, and you want to help your fellow member be heard! =)

  2. Hi! I just wanted to say thanks so much for following my blog! It really means a lot! Your blog is really cool. =)


  3. Heather - I love that, haha! What a funny idea... but hey, it worked so it must be good. :) That was really thoughtful of you guys to do that! If I was that girl, I'd probably be pretty discouraged. :( Love the creativity!

    Abby - Oh no problem! I loved the look of your blog as well! Thank you. :) Look forward to reading some of your posts!


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