Quick to Listen

Joel Plantinga

READ : James 1:19-27

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (v. 19, niv)

A parable tells of two friends from different worlds: a businessman and a farmer. Walking together in the city, the farmer asked if his friend could hear the cricket on the other side of the street. The businessman said there was no way anyone could hear a cricket in such a noisy city. Curious, the pair crossed the street and the farmer lifted up a newspaper and revealed a cricket. Astounded, the businessman wanted to know how his hearing was so good. His friend replied: “It’s not how good your hearing is. It’s what you’re listening for.” To prove his point, he took a handful of coins and dropped them, causing everyone to turn and look.

Listening is a forgotten skill. In our daily lives, we can make a real impact in our relationships if we can learn to listen. When we fail to listen, we fail to understand, which can lead to anger and frustration. This not only applies to our interpersonal relationships, but also to our relationship with God. Listen for his still small voice and you will find the wisdom you need. As the prayer of St. Francis says, “Grant that I may not so much seek . . . to be understood as to understand.”


Spend some time in silence before the Lord in your prayer time today.