Saturday, December 13, 2008

Listening #2

(Proverbs 12:1) Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.

(Proverbs 18:2) A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.

One of the marks of immaturity is an arrogant "know it all" attitude.

Where would we get such an attitude?
Pride? (We are sure we must know more than most people.)
Ignorance? (We don't know what we don't know.)
Insecurity? (We are afraid we won't be respected.)

What is the antidote?

We need to listen carefully to God. He has given us a book - the Bible - in which He reveals Himself. We need to "receive with meekness the implanted word." (James 1:21) We can read it to listen. We can sit under the teaching and preaching of the word. Just so we open our ears and strive to apply it to our lives.

We need to listen carefully to people who know God. Such people have insights that will illumine us - especially if they disagree with us. They see things from a perspective different from our own. They are not infallible, but honorable, and we should take their opinions seriously.

We need to listen to people with diverse backgrounds. Listening to these people increases our understanding. Listening helps keep us from jumping to conclusions. Listening to diverse people helps keep us from binary thinking. Listening to people is how we learn about the many things we don't know about. Listening to people helps us grow in respect and love for people.

We grow up through listening - not through talking.

(James 1:19-20) So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

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