The loving act of listening - Hope 103.2

The loving act of listening

By David ReayTuesday 3 Jun 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 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. (NLT)

In some Christian circles there is much emphasis on how many people we have spoken to recently about Jesus. Have we ‘shared the gospel’ with others this week? Such a phrase begs the question: just what does it mean to ‘share the gospel’? Is it more than mere words?

But the other question raised by such a viewpoint is that the emphasis is on our speaking. We feel the urge to tell people what is wrong with them and how it can be put right. We feel compelled to tell people what we know and what they ought to know. And,when we do open our mouths to speak,we sometimes fail to connect because we have failed to listen.

As James reminds us,we are to be quicker to listen rather than speak. Only as we listen will we find out what speaking,if any,needs to be done. Those whom we come alongside are unique and valuable individuals who can’t all be lumped together thoughtlessly under the category of ‘people needing our help’. They may need our help and we may give it,but we must first understand what will be helpful.

So perhaps the question we need to ask ourselves is not “How many people have I spoken to about Christ?” but rather,”How many people have I listened to in Christ?”

David Reay