What Will I Say Next?


Read: Matthew 7:24-27 & Proverbs 12:15

Recently I was watching a cable news channel and became frustrated with how the back and forth conversation was taking place.  The news person would ask a question and then before the other person could expound on their answer the newsperson began interrupting them and questioning them.

I have found that this is an increasing problem on programs like this and perhaps in our culture as a whole.  Many people will try to talk over the others which makes it hard to hear what anyone is saying.  My solution to the news channel dilemma is to turn the channel or turn the television off.

This got me to thinking about how we converse with each other.  How often do we truly listen to the other person speak before we begin to formulate our next line or argument?  In many cases people are not listening to what is being said, they are thinking about their next sentence.  I know that I am guilty of this too, but I am trying to make it an area of growth in my life.

In the Bible we are instructed many, many, times to listen to God and the ways of Jesus.  Our listening should start there, but we can also gain wise counsel from each other.  It is obvious that people in this world see things differently and live differently so here is a news flash; we probably won’t agree on everything.  But in Proverbs 12:15 it says, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”

I have appreciated the many times in my life when I have gained understanding, a new perspective, and sometimes even a new direction.  Those times most often came when I turned a listening ear to someone and kept silent myself.  Instead of thinking about what I was going to say next I was reflecting on what the other person was saying.

When we listen to others we must always be sure that it lines up with the Word of God.  Listening to false teachers will only lead you down a dangerous path.  In Matthew 7 Jesus says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24)  Listening is a valuable trait to have in our fast, loud, and opinionated culture.  We would do well to grow in this area.

Make it Personal:  How often do you find yourself thinking about what you will say next while the other person is speaking to you?  How often do you interrupt someone in mid-sentence?  Try to think about this and grow in your listening skills.  Most of all listen and give heed to what Jesus says about living life.  In other words, build your life on the rock!

Have a wonderful week, Pastor Glen Rhodes