Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hearing Test

"This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger..." James 1:19

Have you ever had a hearing test? I remember them from elementary school, but I also had one about 10 years ago when there was a question about whether I could hear certain tones. As it turns out my physical hearing is fine - I can hear... if I choose to! Get it, most of us have the capabilities of hearing, but often we fail at hearing. OK, ladies, not to throw my husband under the bus here, but he has been known to not "hear". You know the "you never told me" response, when you know darn well that you did. Not to make him seem like the bad guy - I know that at times I am also guilty of not hearing what he has said to me. As a counselor, I am in some ways being paid to listen and yet I am sure there are times when my listening skills need help and need to be more focused on my client rather than wherever else my brain wants to go.

Why do we not listen? When do we fail to hear? I'm going to guess that the following may be playing a part: we are too busy or in a hurry, our thoughts are focused on defending ourself or getting our point across, we don't believe the person or issue is worth our time, we are lazy, we are preoccupied with our stuff, or maybe we do not want to hear what the person has to say. As I might suspect, the Bible has a few things to say about our listening skills. Take some time to check out these verses, or you can just take my word for it that they communicate the following principles of listening.

1. Listen to the counsel of others.
* Prov. 15:31-32
* Prov. 19:20, 27
* Prov. 22: 17-18
* Prov. 25: 12
* Prov. 24:6
* Prov. 13:1

2. Listen before you respond.
* Prov. 18:13
* Prov. 29:20
* James 1:19

3. Hold your tongue.
* Prov. 10:19
* Prov. 17:27
* Prov. 18:2
* Prov. 17:28
* Prov. 11:12

So, how did you do? Did you fail your hearing test? I hope not, but if you did - it is reversible - you can pass the next time you take the test. Godly communication comes when we learn to listen and minimize our speech. The next time we chat we'll talk about the biblical principles of speech. Happy Listening!

Lynne Jahns
Christian Counselor
Director, KESWICK Institute of Biblical Studies

James 3:7-9
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,
8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

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