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Maturity Matters

The most common challenge to good listening is our mental distractions

Mature Reactions
Quick to Listen – Part 3

Scripture Reading: James 1:19-21

Key Verse: James 1:19

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

It is hard work to be a good listener.  Most of us fail because we think if we hear a person’s words we are listening.  The most common challenge to good listening is our mental distractions while a person is talking to us.  One major distraction is thinking about our response before the other person has finished talking.  This is especially common during a conflict between two people; each person can be so determined to win the argument that they aren’t listening to the other person’s thoughts.

Another common distraction is problems that plague us and we are thinking about them rather than listening.  It takes great mental discipline to zero in on what someone is saying to us when we are distracted by the problems of our lives.  They are talking about one thing and we are trying to find a solution to some issue that we are concerned about!

Jesus told us to love one another and serve others above ourselves.  There is no better way to love and serve someone than to truly give them our full attention and listen to their thoughts.  The wisest man who ever lived, besides Jesus, wrote: “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame” (Solomon, Proverbs 28:13).  This ancient wisdom reminds us that we humans have always struggled to truly listen; we’ve always been too quick to speak!  Let’s determine to improve our listening skills!

Father, help me to love and serve those around me today, by focusing on them and listening to their concerns.  In Jesus’ name, amen.