Two Ears and One Mouth

How many times have you heard your mother or dad tell you to “shut up and listen” ? If you’re normal, that phrase is certainly one of the major training points used to help us “grow up”. I know there are kinder ways of saying this but let’s just be honest and fess up to using this phrase on many occasions.

I’ve mentioned that we don’t get to see many happy people who are asking for assistance. There is a crisis in their lives that has required them to come to us looking for help. The story behind their problems is the driving force bringing them to us.

We don’t always have time to hear their complete story and that’s not good. The client is not in a position to tell us to “shut up and listen,” but I’m sure the thought has entered their minds at times. When we do have time to really listen, there is usually a sense of relief seen on the person’s face after they’ve completed their story. Being able to get problems “off our chests” is a major step towards being able to deal with whatever is going on during a personal crisis. Obviously that’s why people who can afford it go to a psychiatrist.

Proverbs 18:13 (NIV) – “To answer before listening – that is folly and shame.”

Luke 2:46 (NIV) – “After three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.”

James 1:19 (NIV) – “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

There are three primary elements that comprise active listening: comprehending, retaining, and responding. We should:

  • Be confident that comprehension is shared between parties in a communication transition. Speech inflection is an important part of really understanding – so we have to pay attention to what is being said and not be busy prepping our thoughts for the answer we’ll be giving in response to what we think we are hearing.
  • Memory is essential to the listening process. We depend on our memory to fill in the blanks when we’re listening. Because each of us has different memories, the speaker and the listener may attach different meanings to the same statement. We can’t remember everything we’ve heard. Mindful listening is active listening. If we’re unsure of what we heard, we need to ask for clarification from the person talking to us.
  • Listening is an interaction between speaker and listener. We look for verbal and non-verbal responses from the listener to determine if the message is being listened to. Usually the response is nonverbal because if the response is verbal the speaker/listener roles are reversed.

The ability to be a good listener isn’t easy. When dealing with a great number of people waiting for food, checking in, completing interview sheets, etc., taking the time to listen, while still vitally important, sometimes get’s pushed aside.

Should anyone feel that listening is one of your gifts, I’d invite you to come on any Tuesday 8:30 to 11:00 am or 3:00 to 5:00 pm, or Thursday 3:00 to 5:00 pm, and visit with people who are coming in for clothing, food, financial assistance, and prescription drug assistance. Your participation would be greatly appreciated.

Other Posts You Might Like:

A Church on the Move - Dan Cooke

God is Calling You / Si Dios Te Llama - Andres Badillo

Just Say, “Yes!” - Nic Dunbar

Thorns - Laurie Templeton

Under Construction - Nic Dunbar



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McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209



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9:30 - Worship (English Service)
10:10 - Bible Class (Birth to 8th grade following the Kid's church time until the end of service)
11:00 - Worship (Spanish Service)

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