Archive for September 19th, 2021

The Importance of Listening


Written by Dallas Willard  (1935-2013), an American philosopher and writer on Christian spiritual formation.  This is an excerpt from his work “The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives.”

Practice in not speaking can at least give us enough control over what we sat that our tongues do not “go off” automatically. This discipline provides us with a certain inner distance that gives us time to consider our words fully and the presence of mind to control what we say and when we say it.

Such practice also helps us to listen and to observe, to pay attention to people. How rarely are we ever truly listened to, and how deep is our need to be heard. I wonder how much wrath in human life is a result of not being heard. James says, “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (1:19). Yet when the tongue is moving rapidly, it seems wrath will usually be found following it. God gave us two ears and one mouth, it’s been said, so that we might listen twice as much as we talk, but even that proportion is far too high on the side of talking.


Written by Melissa Spoelstra, a contemporary Christian author.

Dear Lord, I want to learn to listen more than I speak. Show me how to interact with others in a way that helps them dig deep to find wisdom. Reveal to me when I am talking too much and need to ask questions instead. I’m grateful that I can bring all my questions to You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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