Have you ever had a conversation with a friend, and as it continued and continued, you eventually realized they had quite a bit to talk about but no interest in listening?
You left feeling like you never got to share your heart. You left feeling like your thoughts or words were not important. Chances are, we all have someone that immediately comes to mind with that scenario and maybe a specific time in our life when we felt those same emotions.
A few years back, I was there — I was the one who had the gift of gab.
On one occasion, a friend graciously told me I needed to work on becoming a better listener. It was a blind spot for me because I love to talk, and I love being around people. After that gentle awakening, though, I became very conscious of taking time to listen to the person I’m conversing with and asking them questions. Instead of just focusing on myself, I started focusing on being a friend that could listen well.
James 1:19 says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak . . .” (emphasis added).
If you know me, you know I still love to talk, so I often have to remind myself what the root issue of hoarding the conversation is. It’s just selfishness — a focus on me. I’m being selfish when I do all the talking and don’t listen as well.
I am being selfless when I take the time to show care and concern for another. I am showing them, by my actions, that they have value and that everything they have to say is worth listening to.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t talk, and even talk a lot. I am just encouraging us all (myself included) to make sure we are not the only ones sharing our hearts, desires, and emotions.
I’m convinced God gave us two ears for a specific reason. Take the time to ask someone you love how they are doing and how you could pray for them this week.