Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, “Talk is cheap.”
Today, there’s no shortage of talking, texting, or tweeting.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with talking. It’s a good thing. People are built to talk, and with technology making it easier, we are.
Talking is important to friendship.
A good friendship is marked by good conversation. Good conversation usually means an exchange of sorts. One person talks, then the other, and repeat. However, sometimes a one-sided conversation is necessary, when one person talks the whole time and the other just listens in support.
I took a long walk the other day. My whole purpose was to walk and talk with God. The weather was as perfect as I could want. The topics were plentiful. I unloaded many prayers that morning.
But as I neared my home, it dawned on me. I spent about an hour walking and talking to God, but I didn’t give Him time to speak to me. I wasn’t taking the time to listen.
I know God speaks to me through His word, through His people, through His creation, but there is something about dedicating time to walk and talk with Him that is extraordinary to me.
I apologized for monopolizing the time, and during the last quarter-mile, I just listened.
Words came into mind, one right after the other. Some of these words I liked, because they were reassuring. Some of these words I didn’t like because they were challenging to my comfort.
But for that last quarter-mile until I reached my doorstep, I felt how much God wants to communicate to me. He was willing to make the most of the time we had left on that walk, enough to give me a condensed version through several words.
It’s a lesson to make listening and not talking a priority in my relationship with God. I have to think this will improve other relationships, too.
The Bible has a lot to say about listening:
But whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” Proverbs 1:33
Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; Proverbs 2:2
He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:15
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; James 1:9
Maybe cultivating this skill will make me more patient when someone dominates a conversation. Maybe me just listening will benefit the relationship.
Talk will always be cheap when in unlimited supply.
Listening, however, especially when it comes from God, is of eternal value.
How about you?
How well are you cultivating the art of listening?