The Art Of Listening


Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

~James 1:19, NLT


The reason we have two ears, and one mouth is that we may listen the more and talk the less.


I’ve been under conviction for a month or so about talking too much and being a poor listener. The majority of us had rather talk then listen. There is actually a great ministry in listening. Everyone wants to be heard but there are not enough who are willing to listen. Listening is a visible proof that you care. I have told the story many times about one of my visited to the High School. On this particular occasion, a student came up to a teacher is the hallway and started a conversation. The teacher reached into his pocket and pulled out a quarter and said, “Here is a quarter, go call someone who cares.” We may not think highly of a teacher who would do such a thing, but I suppose he was being honest whereas we pretend to listen but don’t.

We live in a world of noise. We surround ourselves with wi-fi and hi-fi: we have more noise producing devices than Carter has liver pills and that includes the infamous ‘boom box’. The youngsters with these enormous speakers in their cars pull up beside you at a red light, and their boom box shakes your windows. Even with my hearing loss, I can hear them three cars back. I visit homes where the TV is blaring. Senor adults are as bad as anyone. Sometimes I ask politely, “could we turn the TV down or off.” Listening is a discipline. Our default setting is not on listening. We have to make ourselves listen. Either in 7-Habits or What Matters Most, we had a session on active listening. It is harder than you think; especially for folks like me. Before you respond to the person, you have to restate what they said and then you tell them: “This is what I heard, is it what you said or intended for me to hear?” I failed that test repeatedly because I was drawing my conclusions too fast. It is so hard for me to pay attention. The best way to be an active listener is to take notes. There is usually one or two in every congregation, and trust me, they are an encouragement. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of public speaking is keeping the audience engaged. Sometimes I am tempted to say, “Folks, it is apparent that you are not interested in anything I have to say. Let’s have prayer and go home. We will try again next Sunday.”


I don’t watch news but judging by the little I read on the computer, things didn’t go great for us. Of course, the news on my computer was from USA TODAY and they are in the fake news business. I was praying for a landslide and no cheating.

Got a new IMPRIMIS in the mail yesterday. The article this month is on the Ukraine War. According to the article {Christopher Caldwell}, the war was initiated by the Biden administration who was pushing for the Ukraine to get into NATO. This war is costing American taxpayers billions. Last August, the Pew Center published an article listing the top 15 things that Americans are concerned about and the war in the Ukraine is not on the list. You may be shocked by the list:

  1. Economy
  2. Guns
  3. Crime
  4. Health Care
  5. Fair Elections
  6. Education
  7. Supreme Court
  8. Abortion
  9. Energy Policy
  10. Immigration
  11. Foreign Policy
  12. Big Government
  13. Climate Change
  14. Race
  15. Covid


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *