Once when I was in middle school, a “he said, she said” dispute developed between two of my classmates. When the pair couldn’t come to an agreement, someone in class turned to another one of my classmates and asked him what happened. My classmate said, “How should I know?” And the investigator responded with something along the lines of, “You never talk, so you must have heard what happened.”
Because of its truth, this moment has always stuck with me. When we listen, not passively or merely to respond, but actively listen, we will understand when there is just a miscommunication; we will understand the intent behind words; we will have a better understanding of people and the world around us.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20 NIV)
Whether we’re at home, at the office or at church, the quicker we are to listen to those around us, the quicker we will see, hear and understand what others can not.