Listen more and talk less.
As a piano teacher, I encouraging good listening skills. Listen to the music. Listen to the intervals, the dynamics, the rests, the expression of the musician. We learn to play more proficiently by learning to listen, by quieting ourselves to receive the beauty of the sounds.
Our personalities define our listening and talking bents. Some of us are comfortable talking little while others have lots of words to share.
God made us all unique, like flowers of the field, to express His creativity in immeasurable ways. We are all different, and we communicate distinctly.
Perhaps there is something to be learned by listening more and talking a bit less.
James 1:19 says: My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
This is very plain, a command not a suggestion, verified by other translations. Listen without unnecessary delay. Be prompt to listen. Act swiftly to listen.
How much confusion and conflict could be avoided if we listened better? It takes focus and concentration to listen without preparing a response, a counter, or an argument.
Steven Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” When I’m thinking about what to say next, waiting for a pause in the conversation so I can jump in, I dare say I miss something vital. I might miss the inflection of the voice that conveys more than the words. I could miss the expression of the face, the light of the eyes into the soul that will help me truly understand the heart of the matter. The heart of the person.
I do a lot of talking to God throughout my day. I pray quick prayers, longer petitions, telling Him what I want. But how well do I listen to Him?
Scripture tells me over and again to be still. Like a child comforted by his mother, resting quietly upon her breast, wrapped in loving arms, this is to be my posture with my Father.
Quieting my soul and my mouth opens my ears to hear the gentle voice of the Savior.
We have two ears and one mouth, and therein lies a clue to our communication. Listen twice and talk once. What we hear may be stunningly beautiful.