Many books have been written on the art of listening. And, truly, it is an art. Many of us seem to be good at talking, at sharing our opinions—hence the popularity of platforms like blogs, Facebook and Twitter. But, to be quiet and hear what others are saying—what ideas they are expressing, what experiences they are sharing—is when we can actually learn something about life, love, friendship and how to get along with others.
Although we know that communication is a “two-way street,” it’s been said that it happens better when there is more listening involved. The late famed psychologist Carl Rogers even once said, “Man’s inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively.” People want to be heard. They want to know that their ideas, their feelings matter.
Not surprisingly, the Bible isn’t mum about this skill. It conveys the importance of listening through verses like, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak” (James 1:19, NIV), and “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15, NIV).—Story by Beth Michaels