James 1:19-20 (ESV)
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt got tired of smiling that big smile and saying all the usual things at those White House receptions. So, one evening he decided to find out whether anybody was paying attention to what he was saying. As each person came up to him with extended hand, he flashed his big smile and said, "I murdered my grandmother this morning." People would automatically respond with comments such as "How lovely." or "Continue on with your great work." Nobody listened to what he was saying, except for one foreign diplomat. When the president said, "I murdered my grandmother this morning," the diplomat responded softly, "I'm sure she had it coming to her.
"It's a funny story, but how often do we do the same? It seems that we have lot's to say but we are not very good at listening. Think about it -- how many language, speech and speaking courses can you find in your college course book? But can you find even one class on listening?? There is such a lack of good listening skills in this day and age that we have to pay someone a lot of money just to listen to us! More importantly, God has many things He desires to reveal to us -- but we're always talking, talking, talking!
Dear Lord, help us strive to do less talking and more listening today. Let's give others and the Lord a chance to be heard. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.