It was Thoreau who once said, "It takes two to speak the truth — one to speak and another to hear." The more seasoned I become the more I understand this so clearly. The Lord has been teaching me for a time now that it's not so much how much I speak, but how much I am willing to listen.
Listening can be hard. Especially for a mom. When a mom sees her children making a mistake it's easy to want to step in and voice your opinion. I am learning to give my opinion when asked and just be the woman God has called me to be, and that is one with grace. Too many times I was the one doing all the talking when I should have been listening. If I would have spent more time listening, I would have understood more. It is more important to pray about the situation, those involved, and wait on the Lord, instead of trying to step in and fix things we see that are broken. Too many times I will try to jump in and pick up all the peices only making them scatter more across the floor, making it hard to walk on broken glass.
Part of gaining wisdom is listening. Even in our relationship with Christ, if we are doing more of the talking we are missing so much. Learning to be silent takes time. But it is in that silence where I hear the Lord speaking clearly to me. It is in that silence that I find peace and reassurance.
There are those days I love having Christian music playing as I clean, read, or write, but more lately I am finding my place within the silence of the room. It is in that quiet that I begin to hear.
To have a relationship you must allow yourself to hear more than you say. I am finding there is just so much more in hearing than there is in speaking. You know those people who just talk none stop? Those who tell everything going on in their lives? Do they ever know when to stop? As they continue to talk and talk, you can feel yourself nodding off, in hopes the silence will come soon. Am I right? There is a difference in speaking with knowledge and just speaking to let others know your there. I don't want to be that girl in the room that just never knows when to be quiet. I want to be that girl who listens with grace, who learns from the company around her, and who know its not all about me.
The truth is always not so easy to hear, but with grace we can learn to listen with clarity and honesty, with no judgement before us. For one to speak truth it takes another to sit before them and truly listen with all they are, not jumping in, not spouting out their opinion. There is a time and place for us to speak our opinion, but more so, we should be listening to the Lord, and speaking when He calls us to speak His wisdom, not our own. Too many times we can speak our opinion, and its just that, our opinion. It doesn't mean it is right or wrong, but in doing so, we are leaving Christ out if we have not first opened our hearts and minds to His word before us.
Listening says more about love than speaking does. I always thought I listened when my girls were teenagers. But the fact is, I didn't always just listen. And when I did, I heard what I wanted to hear, not what was really being said. Love is more than just speaking. When we listen we are giving of our time, our heart, we are building a bond, a relationship.
When I call upon the Lord, He listens to all I say whether it is right or wrong. I feel His presence with me. If I am wrong He corrects me, and when I need Him the most He is there to listen and heed His warning, or give His blessing. He is the perfect picture of grace and love.
When our children are in trouble and they stand before us, will they gain more knowledge if we speak to them with love or yell at them with anger? When we sit our children down, speak to them in love, and begin to ask why, they then know they are in comfortable ground they will share their hearts. When we allow others time to speak, we allow ourselves time to listen. Have you noticed listening is all about giving time? It all comes down to giving of ourselves. When we give others will be blessed and as they are blessed we too will reap those blessings.
Ever have a friend say, "I am here for you. If you just need someone to listen, give me a call?" Sometimes that is all we need is for another to listen as we let that pain or confusion out, and many times that is all it takes for us to see clarity in a situation.
It is when we turn the table around and remember how we want to be spoken to, and how we want others to listen when we speak is when we will grow and blossom into those people full of grace.
Proverbs 12:15 "Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others."
Proverbs 18:13 "Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish."
James 1:19 "Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry."