In the public square, there are so many words pushed about that it takes on the character of noise and relentless chatter; filtering through it can be a herculean task, even for the most gifted of hearers.
James the Apostle says,
James 3:8-10, KJV
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Another person says quite pointedly,
Yehuda Berg, sourced from https://www.brainyquote.com
Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.
Yet for how many of these words are spoken, written, and thought of within — how many of them are LISTENED too as well? Many people spew out their thoughts in bars, cafes, and venues for sure, but I have to wonder how many of those people are understood from their own unique vantage point.
For all the speaking and verbal chaos that exists — listening (to me at least) is a much rarer skill, and art form. We can listen mentally, or we can listen MEANINGFULLY. The former allows us to understand what we are hearing; the latter allows us to understand the speaker. It requires us to ask questions and repeat the answers in our own words, in order to say we really get it.
People that have something to say sometimes speak for their own fun. Often you can find people that like to stir up disagreements for their own carnal excitement; there is often no point in listening to them… for they are only pointing their gaze upon you to feed off of your apparent discomfort. Rebuke them firmly, or leave. They don’t deserve your attention.
Others though, have a vested emotional investment in you, and if they are coming across the wrong way it is because they probably aren’t as good as they could be with settling an issue of the heart with someone. It takes real skill in becoming proficient with coming to an agreement.
Getting to yes, or getting to no — both require you to actively listen in order to get to PEACE. You have to be in the words of the moment; not merely on the outside of them comprehending their superficial meanings.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.Proverbs 18:2, ESV
Don’t be like this.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.Proverbs 12:15, ESV
Ah. Much better.
Listen to others, REALLY listen to others. Even people you have known for a long time still have areas in their minds that are foreign to you, even to them. When you invite them to not only speak, but be HEARD — they will come, and who knows? They may even listen to you.