In James 1:19, we are instructed as follows: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” It goes on to say that our human anger does not produce the righteousness that God requires. (verse 20). We are to be quick to listen.
God is love, and in that love He is giving us this instruction to listen. Our listening to each other reflects His love. Listening is God’s design. (Maybe that’s why He gave us two ears and one mouth – we will listen twice as much as we talk. Well, I’ve heard that anyway.) I digress. God wants and expects us to listen. But why? I can think of two reasons off hand. You can probably come up with more. If you do, comment below this post.
One reason we are instructed to listen is because it is very effective. Not just listening for information, but listening to each others’ hearts – listening to show compassion. It is very healing to have someone listen to us.
One study I read about did an experiment with people in counseling. Half the group did the professional counseling, which itself can be very healing. Get hold of a Christian counselor, and it will help. I know it helped me. The other half just had someone listen to them. In the end, they measured the results, and the study found that both groups showed equally positive results. Both were very effective. It helps us a lot when people listen to us.
Yes, listening reflects God’s love, but it also reflects His character. He wants us to be like Him, and God listens. I said God listens. I need that reminder. Not only that, I think it is fair to say that God is quick to listen. He wants to hear us. He wants us to pour out our hearts to Him and to come to Him with confidence. Hebrews 4:16 says “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
God is ready to listen right now. I want to be that way too. I’m going to get started with this – “Heavenly Father, it is a privilege to write these words that hopefully reflect Your word. I pray for whoever reads this right now, that they (and I) will listen to You, even as you are always ready to listen to us. God bless the readers of these words. In the strong name of Jesus, who makes all this listening connection to you and to each other possible. Amen.”