Thursday, November 24, 2016

Listen More. Talk Less. (James 1:19-20)

Today’s scripture: James 1:19-20

Oh, if we could only live by these words. If we would listen more and speak less. If we would take time to think before reacting … what a difference it would make.

I used to facilitate Seven Habits for Highly Effective people, and this verse reminds me of two of the habits.

The first is Be Proactive. It’s the habit of choosing how you respond. You may have been told as a kid to count to ten before reacting? That’s that this is about. Being “slow to anger.” Instead of having a knee-jerk reaction, you stop and think. Then you respond based on what you value. In other words, if you value your relationship with your child, then instead of yelling at him when he accidentally spills grape juice on your new white linen tablecloth, you take a deep breath and respond with gentleness.

The fifth habit is Seek First to Understand. In this habit, you listen, really listen, to what the other is saying. You don’t judge. You don’t think about what you’re going to say. You don’t interrupt. You just listen. The other person is your focus. Not you.

Try this today: When your spouse or your friend or your child wants to talk to you, put everything else aside. Look them in the eye. And listen.

And if someone does something that upsets you? Count to ten. And respond in love.

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