Speak less and say more

Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening… when you’d have preferred to talk” DJ Kaufman

I confess I’m a bit of a talker. A bit might be an understatement, I love to talk. I was speaking three word sentences before I could walk, and I talking during class has always been a trouble-spot.

That being said, you should know that nothing I have ever said has really taught me anything. I’m not saying I have nothing to say, or that others have not learned from what I’ve said, what I am saying is; I don’t learn by speaking, I learn by listening. Even the, “learn from what I should or should not have said” lessons, only became lessons when I listened to the response and reaction of others, or to my remorse. Talking doesn’t teach me anything. I can’t learn until I am willing to listen.

The irony is, when I listen I actually have more to say, AND…. I actually say more. Here are 5 things listening says without saying anything:

  1. I’m not the only one with something to say.
  2. I value what you contribute.
  3. I trust you enough to speak into my life.
  4. I’ve got room to grow.
  5. I’m open to how that growth might happen.

In no way is this an exhaustive list, but it sure got me thinking of all the things I say when I am just willing to listen. It’s no wonder the Bible tells us, be quick to listen but slow to speak. Listeners are learners, and learners have something to say.

Join this conversation

What are some other things you say when you listen or hear when others listen to you? Do you agree that you don’t learn from speaking? Why or why not?

Praying God will give us ears that hear this week.

4 thoughts on “Speak less and say more

  1. I think one of the best ways to learn from “talking” is journaling. Keeping a prayer journal between you and God gives you a chance to “talk” out all the thoughts and feelings in your head. Seeing your own words on paper is sort of like watching yourself on video. You can look at it more objectively and sift out the “good” from the “bad”. Plus, the act of writing your prayers rather than speaking them slows you down enough to be able to hear God’s voice as well. I often find that when I journal, God redirects my writing. I may start out complaining to God about a situation in my life and in the process of a single entry, God will answer that prayer by slowly shifting my thoughts and turning those complaints into righteous responses.

    • Love this Tarrah. I love to journal it provides an opportunity to listen to myself ( thoughts, fears, dreams, ect) and listen for Gods response and sometimes redirection. PS you are awesome

  2. I love this post a relate to it. I was just talking to my friends about “sandwich” critiques last night. You know, when someone critiques you but starts and ends it with a compliment. A few of my friends dislike that. I personally like it. I feel like anytime I do anything like cook, slides, or lead studies, there is always room for improvement. When I lead a Bible study I know there are a few people who love me, are invested in the same goal and vision as I am, and i can learn something from what they have to say. Like you say, I trust these people to speak truth in my life. I hope to grow from what I hear. I really like your 5 points.

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