Listen More - Talk Less — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Listen More – Talk Less — Morning Devotions

We are often so quick to speak and it is enjoyable to share what you have to say. But often it's better that we hear first.

By Chris WittsSunday 4 Sep 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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It was the famous and eccentric Greek philosopher Diogenes, who once said, “we have two ears, one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less”. We were born with two eyes, two ears, one mouth. And that means that 1/5 of everything we should do, should be talking. In other words, we should be listening more.

Plato said, “wise men speak because they’ve got something to say, fools, because they have to say something.”

Seems to me that a lot of times we talk just so we won’t keep quiet, thinking that silence is something to be ashamed of, something to be avoided. But really, there’s nothing wrong with silence. Do you think that you talk too much or you can’t focus properly on what’s being said, that you are always in a hurry to have your say, even when others are not interested?

Now, while you might believe that your words are invaluable, do you know that others may not share that same opinion or your optimism? You’ve got to realise that everyone has this built in need for expression, and if you stifle people. Soon they’ll turn away from you.

Now it’s true. Some people talk so much that they never hear what anyone else says We look without seeing. We listened without hearing and we often speak without understanding.

It’s also true when we open our mouth to talk. What are we actually saying? A lot of times we talk and talk, but actually we’re saying nothing. Maybe it’s because we want to feel that we are being heard and that people should actually acknowledge our presence and existence.

I think we have to learn to talk less than say more when we use our words, use them because they will brighten somebody else’s day and use them because they will teach people something valuable.

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The sake of words

In other words, don’t just use words for the sake of using them. Use them because you have something to say. I also think it’s important to allow people that opportunity to speak. It sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it? It’s human nature to want to be heard when someone speaking we often have a tendency to finish their sentences for them. If we think we know where the sentence is going to,

it’s our egos a way of letting them know that we’re pretty smart. Actually, most people don’t appreciate that having somebody else finish a sentence. So resist the urge to cut. People often allow them to finish articulating their thoughts, and in the end, it makes for a more enjoyable conversation. If we were honest, most of us would admit to having an agenda when we listen to someone else talking.

There’s a difference between listening to understand and listening to strategise how you want to join the conversation, where you want to steer it to What am I going to say next to win this conversation my way? Well, I don’t think that’s being a good listener. Listening is a critical part of communication.

It’s very important, if not more important than speaking. You’ve probably heard you know, that God gave us two years and one mouth for a reason. We should be listening twice as much as we speak.

In fact, James 1:19 and the Bible advises us to be quick to hear and slow to speak. And that’s good advice. What happens if we talk too much? Well, it hurts relationships. We come off looking pretty silly. We lose the credibility and we can appear to be inconsiderate and disrespectful. So even if you’ve got something to say, choose instead to talk less determined that you will not interrupt others when they’re speaking. Proverbs 18:13 And the Bible says “whoever gives an answer before he listens is stupid and shameful.” So let your words have purpose and meaning. Don’t talk just to talk. Some people just talk to hear themselves talk. They don’t make any attempts to really listen. And some people just want to air their own opinions or stories, whether they’re asked to or not – this is often foolish and counter productive.

We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason, and maybe we could all benefit more if we would listen more and talk less.

And I think our constant prayer that God could give us listening is to compassionately hear others, that he would give us mouths to speak loving and kind words, and that God would especially equip us with patience and understanding in our relationship with others.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I have failed so many times, Lord, before in this area of talking, help me to restrain my tongue so that I can talk less, open my ears that I may listen more, Amen.