Friday, February 13, 2009

being quiet

Being quiet I believe is underrated. Everyone likes to share their opinion or something of their life, and to some extent that's good and fine, and we can see it played out with all of our blogs.

I recently heard that someone who has shared plenty of words (a Christian, whose name now escapes me) said that they listen 80% of the time, seeking to really understand, and then they speak accordingly. This reminds me of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's words of warning, telling us that we'd better learn to listen to others, or we'll find that we are not listening to God, no matter what we may be doing (reading or talking about God's word, etc.).

I am a talker by nature. But I find much more satisfaction in saying less. Listening more. And hopefully wasting less words. Of course there is a time to speak. Sometimes needed to break the silence, or even break the ice. But I'm finding that I want to be quick to listen, and seek to really understand others. And I'm also working on not waiting until someone is finished so I can say what I've already planned to say. Better to hear them out, think, and then perhaps offer some words that might be helpful to them or for the conversation.

Good too, surely, to be quiet before God. To pray, yes. But also to just be quiet, and seek to listen and hear God's voice speaking into and through our lives.

What would you like to add on being quiet?


Crowm said...

Good words here Ted. I'm reminded of the old E.F. Hutton ? commercial. "When he speaks, everyone listens."

I have an elder now that is somewhat quiet while leading/shepherding. Being in the room with this man is encouraging in itself. When he speaks, everyone is on pins and needles. It's not a "worship of man" thing. It's recognizing wisdom that comes from above.

I too must learn to be better about listening and especially not formulating my words prior to hearing the other person out. Thanks alot!

Anonymous said...

yes, it is underrated.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes. I especially like to hear the older who have wisdom from God. I guess I don't want to get hung up on just how much I talk or don't talk. I probably have been so hung up on that. And I have to remember it doesn't hurt if I have nothing to say every time.

But the point here is that I need to be quiet so I can listen, and hopefully hear, really hear what the other is saying. That just seemed to connect for me, as I can be too noisy or talkative, and have often sensed it was not that helpful, or even empty. (not referring here to good conversation, but more like monologues in which I'm trying to draw someone out into something I consider important)


Ted M. Gossard said...

Good listening surely is, or God's word wouldn't have to tell us to be slow to speak and quick to listen (James).

Every Square Inch said...

Most of us tend to like the sound of our own voice, don't we? This is timely, I was just thinking how I would be served if I wasn't so ready with my own opinion at work.

Thanks, Ted

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, I'm learning something of the same in my own work as well. Sometimes I'm quite glad I was quiet, as I can see my opinion on a work related matter was actually off. Other times it's good for me to be silent, and slow to point out this or that. Don't even know always why, or have much of a sense as to why, but only a sense or intuition that that is true.

Lanny said...

uh quiet? What's that?

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes. I knew you'd have a hard time with this. (just kidding! :)