Desperate to make yourself heard?
Let’s face it. In a noisy world, we’re all trying to be heard.
At work, a meeting feels successful when my point has been discussed, or my suggestion has been minuted.
With friends I might hope my jokes get the laughs or my comments on social media are ‘liked.’ Even at church or in a Bible study, we want to be the one who makes the most ‘helpful’ point.
Quick to Listen
The apostle James has something to say to our noisy world.
‘Take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen (and) slow to speak…get rid of the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you.’ James 1:19, 21
Being quick to listen means leaving that awkward silence so I know the person I’m speaking to has said all they want to say.
It means avoiding questions that are too closed or general, showing a real interest in who they really are.
It means not needing to have the first or last word on a topic. It means making an effort to listen to those who are more easily drowned out by the din.
Be quick to listen. And slow to speak.
Slow to speak
This means not rushing to make my point heard.
It means thinking carefully about the impact of my words on another, especially when evil is so possible in what I might say.
Jesus has planted his word in us and will grow in us a very different voice from the noise in the world around us. His word gives life and extends grace to others.
It makes me forget about myself.
So I don’t mind not being heard. In fact, if Jesus’ word is planted deep in me, then let that word spring up so I say fewer words better.