August 18

One of the problems a “story-teller” like me faces every day, is the ability to let other people fully tell their story without interrupting them. I battle the temptation to “fill in” the parts of someone else’s story while they are telling it, or adding in my own story to help theirs be more exciting. This is so rude! It also shows a lack of respect on my part to the other person telling the story. I recognize the problem of talking over someone who is trying to explain something, or for being so eager to tell my story that I fail to give attention to the details of the other persons story.

God sees the problem with this as well. Today I read, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him” (Proverbs 18:13). Wow! God knows how to say it that there is no way of escaping the truth! I’m grateful for that, because sometimes I am bull-headed, and I cannot see the truth unless it is laid out before me just like this verse. I believe God has given me a great message to share with other people, but I also believe He has given other people a great message to share with me. As eager as I am to tell the story God has given me, I need to be to hear the message that God has given to others.

I believe that we are living in a society today that does not listen well to those who are speaking to them. I listen to a sports-talk radio station sometimes, and I am amazed at how many times the guy who is the host of the show, does not take the time to listen to what the caller is saying. The host has a strong opinion that he is interested in getting on the air-waves, and I have heard them assume the caller is making an opposing point, when they really were calling to agree with the host. But, because the host did not listen well, he launches into a great dialogue opposing the person who was trying to agree with him.

I wonder how many times I do this in a normal day? I wonder how many times God wants to speak with me, and I am too busy trying to explain my point to Him that I miss what He is trying to say to me? I am going to try to be a better listener today, to others around me, as well as to God in Heaven. I yearn to hear the still small voice of God today. I also yearn to hear the voice of God from the pages of my Bible. It is such a great book, and it deserves my full attention. I don’t want to be guilty of simply reading words on a page, but allowing those words to drive deep into my soul! Let me encourage you today, to develop the art of listening again. I am asking God to help me to pay attention to what He is saying to me so that I can become the man of God He designed me to be.

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