Lead with Listening

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. – (James 1:19, NIV)

My dear brothers and sisters, always be more willing to listen than to speak. Keep control of your anger. – (James 1:19, ERV)

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. – (James 1:19, MSG)

 

Listening is an art form that can prevent misunderstanding and bring people closer together. Too often we speak to respond, rather than listen to understand and reply only if necessary. Anger flares and brash words are spoken when we communicate to make our own point, opinion or agenda heard, without taking pause to listen to others around us. I find that the majority of the time, my anger ignites when I jump to conclusions or explain a scenario in my own mind, rather than seeking to listen to whomever did, whatever it was, that incited my frustration to the point of anger. Each time I slow down, take a deep breath, and remind myself to listen with the intent to understand, I discover that there is a reason for the words or actions that transpired. By hearing the heart behind the person, anger or frustration fade, and compassion and kindness begin to rise. May we ever seek the Lord for strength and willingness to listen first, so that our response is a reflection of His heart, rather than a rash reaction that is not necessary to bring resolution.

 

Let us each choose first,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

To listen in love;

Seek to understand,

With grace from above.

If we’re slow to speak,

There’s less to regret;

Peace has a true chance,

God’s love, our asset.

Allow not anger,

To rise and release;

Instead, choose listen,

Discernment brings peace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to be people who seek listen to understand, speak with intention and grace, and to keep anger in check to prevent words or deeds that cannot be taken back. Forgive us for the times that we have allowed our ego or agenda to cause us to assume ill intent in anger, rather than listening with intention to understand all that is involved in what has transpired before us. Teach us to listen first, seeking to understand, so that if and when we respond, it may be done with love and grace. Show us how to love well through listening to those who need to be heard. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as You are the God who always hears our heart, regardless of what our words or deeds seem to indicate. Be glorified O God, through our decision to listen first and speak with godly intent, only when we understand, keeping anger in check and love abundant. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. – Proverbs 1:5

Be Willing to Watch

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood.” – Acts 20:28

image by Krystii Melaine

“Now it’s up to you.  Be on your toes – both for yourselves and your congregation of sheep.  The Holy Spirit has put you in charge of these people – God’s people they are – to guard and protect them.  God Himself thought they were worth dying for.” – (The Message)

Our charge, each one of us who calls Him King, is to be on guard, not only for ourselves, but for our communities.  He already paid the ultimate price for our protection, so we ought to be brave in His strength, knowing that His plan is that none would perish.

How exactly am I to be an overseer of both myself and my community?

First, I must be in tune with our Beloved so that I am ever aware, and able to discern the difference between deceit and His direction.

Next, He has granted us both the gift and the grace to present our petitions to Him through prayer.  We are called to be people of prayer.  We are equipped and covered to clearly convey Christ, when we are intentional to listen to His leading.  If we are faithful to speak truth in love, our Heavenly Father will fan the flames in every heart that hears.

Any good that is done through us, is only possible because of the perfect sacrifice our Savior presented on our behalf.  We are covered by His blood and called clean; leaving us equipped and empowered to listen to His leading.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not call us to do anything that You are not also willing and able to equip us to accomplish.  Forgive us for our doubts, and help us to never forget that to You, each of us were worth dying for.  May we be ever-listening and always at the ready to do as You ask to protect and preserve our hearts and the hearts of those around us.  Lead us in love Lord, so that not one of us who comes to call You King, should perish.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present