So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. James 1:19-25
Studying James 1.19-25 this week led me to think long and hard about the virtue of good listening – specifically listening to God’s Word (1:22; cf Ecc. 5.1-2, Prov 10.19, etc). It is so hard to be a good listener in our noisy and entertainment-driven culture in which someone (or something!) is always talking. We can enjoy movies and music, but we should also try to enjoy these things in moderation because excessive indulgence slowly kills our skill of listening (to the Word). Here are a few great quotes I found on listening which I thought our readers would appreciate.
“Today…much ‘church work’ makes congregants so busy that they have scant time and little capacity for listening. …Loving God and other people depends on getting to know them intimately by listening to them ‘with the ear of the heart.'” (Schultz
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