He Said…She Said

Published on Jan 20th, 2016 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
He Said...She Said

He Said…She Said

I have heard that the number one problem in marriages is communication.  It used to be money issues but communication has zoomed to number one.  Of course, I may have heard wrong.  Isn’t that the problem?  When we communicate there are at least two parties involved.  One who is speaking and one who is listening.  Then they switch roles.  The key to effective communication is that the one speaking must make their point clear and the one listening must be hearing what is being said.  Oh, and they both must remember what has been communicated.  Oh, and they both must take the appropriate action to what was communicated.  Oh, and they both must communicate again if they change their minds.  Oh, and they both must ask good questions so that they understand what is being said.  Oh, and they both must use words that encourage and build up and not use words that tear down.  Oh my, communication can be very difficult.

Here is the problem.  Even though real communication is difficult we cannot stop communicating.  We have to continue to work on communication in our relationships otherwise our relationships will die a slow and painful death.  James certainly helps us with our issues in communication when he says that we need to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).  Did you ever stop to ask yourself what it means to be “quick to hear?”  We understand “slow to speak” and “slow to anger” but what does it mean to be “quick to hear?”  One of the obvious meanings is that we need to listen before we speak.  Do not be quick to interrupt or draw conclusions. Do not be so quick to give advice.  That certainly seems to fit with the rest of the verse and it is true wisdom. But there seems, in my mind, to be a little more to it than that.  “Quick to hear” seems to be a strange way of putting it. To really hear someone you need to take your time, ask questions, seek to understand exactly what they are saying.  In fact, we often find ourselves saying, “I know you hear me but you are not listening to me.” What we mean is that even though they hear the words that we are saying, they are not trying to understand what we mean.  But what if James means just what he is saying?  Be “quick to hear.”  John says that “my sheep hear my voice.”  When I played basketball my coach refused to use a whistle in practice to get our attention.  He said that he wanted us to be able to hear his voice above all of the noise.  He wanted us to be able to respond to what he had to say, even in the middle of the game with the crowd roaring.  I never had much problem hearing him because I was usually sitting right next to him during the games.  Maybe what James is saying is that we need to train our ears to hear those who regularly communicate with us so that when they speak we hear them the first time.  We do not place the onus on them to continually call our name or repeat what they are saying.  We tune our ears to hear them.

My wife could pick up the cry of our babies in the middle of the night in a dead sleep.  In a crowded nursery of crying babies she could pick out our babies cry.  Even as our children grew older she recognized their yell of “mom” above any other noise in the room.  I learned to hear the voice of my coach above all other noise in a crowded gym.  So why is it that I often do not hear my wife when she speaks?  Why is it that my wife says that I did not say something when I know for sure that I did?  Proverbs helps here, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Prov 25:11) and “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” (Prov 10:19).  Sometimes we speak at the wrong times.  Sometimes we use way too many words.  But we also need to recognize that we have stopped trying to be “quick to hear”.  When my wife’s mouth opens my ears should open.  I should desire to hear what she has to say.  I should be quick to listen.  It used to be that way when we were dating.  It needs to be that way now.

We also need to evaluate our desire to be quick to listen when the Lord speaks.  When we seek to study the Word of God in our devotions we need to pray that the Spirit not only illuminates us but that he allows us to open our ears so that we are quick to hear what God desires to say to us.  Same with going to church.  When the Word of God is rightly opened up we should be quick to hear what God has to say to us.  The preacher that day does not need to entertain us.  We need to desire to hear him speak the Word of God.  We need to be quick to hear.  It may take more time to listen but we will at least be quick to hear.

 

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