Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Growing in Listening

Being a good listener is an indispensible skill in negotiating relationships of any kind, in any arena. In a world where we are encouraged to make our points by raising the volume of our discourse, it's a sad reality that listening is now a lost virtue.

Recently, I've become convinced of the need to grow in the seemingly simple practice of listening. I discovered an article from John Piper that proved particularly helpful to me as I pondered my deficiencies in this area. If you struggle as I do, please read the article in entirety but here are a couple of nuggets to whet your appetite.

"It is arrogant to answer before you hear. Humility does not presume that it knows precisely what a person is asking until the questioner has finished asking the question."

"Proverbs 8:13 says it is our “folly” to answer before we hear. That is, it will make us a fool. One reason for this is that almost all premature answers are based on thinking we know all we need to know. But that is “foolish.” Our attitude should be: What can I learn from this question? The fool thinks he knows all he needs to know. "

I'm concluding that being a good listener isn't just a matter of courtesy, it's a mark of humility.

1 comment:

Ben & Amy Phillips said...

great stuff. i was able to download the article and it really challenged me! i saw so many ways in which i need the Lords help in listening (especially to my hubby) and how often i formulate an answer before the person asking has finished. i think you're right - listening is a mark of humility. an area i definitely need to grow in. thanks for posting and for challening us! - amy