Understand this my brothers and sisters:  You must all be quick to listen and slow to speak…

James 1:19

Are you listening?  If someone asked that question of me I’d have to say no.  No, I’m not listening because I’m talking too much, and I’ve been getting worse instead of better! 

I feel so sorry for the friend who spent the weekend with me at the She Speaks conference because I talked most of the way home!  I heard that quiet voice in my head say, “Renee, just be quiet!”, but it was too late to stop me.  I kept talking.  I finally tried to stop when I realized I was tired of the sound of my own voice!  If I was tired of hearing me, she really had to be tired of hearing me!  That’s so embarassing! (I’ve  apologized to her.)

Not only do I find myself talking too much, I take too long to say things.  What others can say in two sentences, I say in two paragraphs!  If only I spoke like I try to write, avoiding unnecessary wordiness and trying to keep word counts to a minimum.

God called me a communicator a couple of years ago.  How awesome it was to receive a title from Him!  And how awesome it would be if I’d remember that communicating is LISTENING as well as speaking.  Those who know me now would never guess that I’ve been a nutritional counselor in my past, that I was a trained listener. 

Writing has been good for me because it gives me an outlet for the thougths that make their way into my head.  However, writing also stimulates more thoughts and makes me want to talk more!  Oh, what’s a chatty girl to do?

Well, one thing I’ll do is read a book that one of our pastors mentioned yesterday, The Lost Art of Listening by Michael P. Nichols, PhD.   Another is to pray that God will hold my tongue when necessary; and I’ll also claim, over and over, the verse above found in James 1:19:

“…be quick to listen and slow to speak…”