Before you talk, do this

James 1:19
“…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak…” (ESV)

Today’s Thought
This week I’m suggesting practical things we can do to love one another better.

Yesterday I talked about the importance of taking your own sin seriously. (If you missed it, you can review it here.)

Here’s suggestion #2: Listen before talking.

I’m not talking about Friday night when you’re having a chat-fest with your friends. That’s different. (Usually!) What I’m talking about here is your daily conversations with the people around you.

Have you ever overheard—or been a part of—a conversation where people are all talking at the same time? It’s like everyone is talking over one another; and because of that, no one is actually hearing what the other person is saying.

Or sometimes, someone is listening… but they’re not really listening. They’re just waiting for the other person to stop talking so they can say something else about themselves!

But when we truly listen, a few things happen:

  • We might hear about a hurt someone is having and can truly respond.
  • We might actually learn something new.

It’s one simple but significant way to love one another. If you don’t actually listen to what people say, you’re working on the assumption that they have nothing significant to say.

But when you listen before talking, it’s an act of love because you’re treating them as you’d like to be treated.

On a deep human level, something else happens too:

I believe that we all long to be heard. When we’re heard, we start to believe that others care about our lives. So when you listen, you are actually showing you care, and that they matter.

Today, listen before talking.

By Matthew Ruttan

  • Today’s ‘Up!’ and many of the devotionals from this week are based on my Sunday message at Westminster Church. It was the final installment in the “Peachy” series. The podcast was called “Lead with Love” and you can listen in here. Enjoy!

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