The Art of Listening

by Chad Gross

In conversations I am continually learning that what I don’t say is sometimes just as important as what I do say.
James writes, “My dear friends, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” [James 1:19].
Further, the Book of Proverbs is full of such reminders.
However, this raises the imperative question, “How does one really learn to listen?”  It involves the following:

  • Taking genuine interest rather than planning your next move.
  • Communicating acceptance rather than passing judgment before the other person is finished.
  • Being patient rather than trying to close the conversation as quickly as possible.
  • Being courteous rather than repeatedly interrupting and fighting for the floor.
  • Valuing another’s ideas rather than missing what he means and feels.

The way we listen will communicate whether we regard the other person as important and they are important to God and therefore should be important to us…

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