Updated: Dec 2, 2021
As a young preacher, I can get myself into a lot of trouble. Mainly because I have everything to say with a small amount of life and experience to back it up! This is why I must rely on men like Bro Tim Hicks (Youth Pastor and Father-in-law), Pastor Rick Finley and others, to pour the truth of God’s Word into my life.
This is the challenge that Paul gave to Timothy in I Timothy 2:1-2:
“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
Paul was in essence saying, “Pick it up and pass it on!” He was instructing a young man to LISTEN! You’ve heard the saying that you have two ears and one mouth because God wants you to listen twice as much as you speak! I think there is a lot of truth to that. The first step in passing God’s Word and Truth onto others is to listen to it being taught and preached. So often, our tendency is to talk and talk and talk, when the key of understanding waits at the door of listening ears.
This is something I always appreciated about my late pastor, Bro Bobby Roberson. He was a great listener! He would sit there after service as long as you wanted to talk and never gave the impression that he was in a hurry to get somewhere.
Are you a good listener? Do you give others a bended ear when they come to you for help? Here are few characteristics that I try to work on to be a good listener (And trust me, I have to constantly work on!):
A good listener makes eye contact.
My wife knows if I am listening simply by where I’m looking. So, if I want to communicate love to her, I’ll put my phone down and look her in the eye, giving her my best attention.
A good listener knows if or when to speak.
Sometimes the person that comes to you for help is simply needing a listening ear. They don’t want you to fix all their problems or give them twelve steps of instructions, they just want to know that someone cares and will hear them out.
A good listener will offer solutions if necessary.
Yes, there are times when people just want to feel valued and heard, but there are sometimes they want you to give input. A good listener will listen intently to the problem as to evaluate a solution. If you just say “uh-h” every few seconds but your mind is on last night’s game, it’s probably a good sign you won’t be able to be a help. And then when the adrenaline kicks in because your friend asks, “So, what you think about that?”--you’ll make a note to listen next time.
Ultimately, how we listen to others is how we listen to God. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” (James 1:19).
Are you listening His voice today?