10. Listen to others -Proverbs 18:13; 17:28
10. Listen to others. Truly listen. Don’t judge, dismiss them, or think about what you are going to say. -Proverbs 18:13
Proverbs 18:13 -If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. (ESV)
When I was a young man a friend of mine lost his mother in an accident. I didn't want to go to the funeral or to even visit him. Our time together had always been laughter and jokes. Now it would be sadness and grief... I didn't know how to handle it. I confided in an older Christian and told him that I wouldn't know what to say. "Don't say anything," he said, "Just listen."
I met with this friend before the visitation. You don't know how hard it was for me to keep my mouth closed. A joke or something funny would come to mind and want to flood out but I choked them all back. My friend came up to me and we stood for a moment in awkward silence. We hugged. As we embraced he whispered with a shaky, emotion filled voice... "say something funny." I didn't miss a beat. "Your standing on my foot," I replied. We both laughed and then we sat down and talked.
I think it was the first time that I listened, really listened to him. Usually we were trying to "one up" each other or tell a better story. I learned more about him in one day than I had in the years we had known each other.
One of the best ways we can shine the light is to truly listen to what others have to say. Stop thinking of how you will reply in your mind while they are talking. Just let them talk.
The verse that probably fits me best is from Proverbs 17:28: “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” This is the verse that inspired the old saying: “Better to let others think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
May the Lord bless you today as you keep quiet and listen more to what others have to say. Shine the light!
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, You are marvelous and the heavens are filled with your praises. So often I want to lift my voice to share with others all the glories you have shown on me. Help me today to be quiet and listen. Help me listen to your word. Help me listen to others. Help me follow the Holy Spirit's lead. In Jesus' Name; AMEN!