Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Listening and Doing

James 1:19
19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs. James wisely advises us to reverse this process. Put a mental stopwatch on your conversations, and keep track of how much you listen. When people talk with you, do they feel their viewpoints have value?

I have to admit that I struggle with this. I have been involved in some heated discussions in my office at work regarding the disaster in New Orleans and Mississippi. My office is full of diehard liberal Democrats. I found myself arguing with them over this whole FEMA thing. I did not want to hear their viewpoints, but wanted my own to be heard. I found that if I prayed about it first, and listened to their viewpoints, without interupting them, in other words "listening" to them, they were much more interested in hearing my views. Therefore, there was really no arguing and the heated discussions turned into friendly discussions.

This was a tragedy beyond imagination. All of the finger pointing and blaming going on between the Republicans and Democrats will not solve a thing. Father I pray that Your Holy Spirit will fall on these people that are suffering. That you will touch the hearts of all of the people that are working down in New Orleans and let Your love shine through everyone. We don't know why these things happen but You do.


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