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March 17, 2004

Two ears, one mouth

Luke 2:46-47
Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.

This is the description if Jesus' activities in Jerusalem when he was twelve. I was struck by these two words: listening and asking. I'm sure I always ask first and listen second. When it comes to my family, my neigbors and friends, or those I serve as a pastor, they and I would be well served if I listened more. I think my need to talk first reveals how I try to control the situation, and often use conversations to accomplish my goals (even if my only goal is to get the conversation ovr with as quickly as possible).

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People lists this kind of communication as the key to one of the habits - "seek first to understand, then to be understood." The passage says here that is the result - "all those who heard Him were astonished at His understanding..." This word for "understanding" is similar to the idea of "putting two and two together." Listening and asking the right questions gives you the ability to come to the right conclusions. It also produces answers that are helpful and insightful.

Lord, help me to be a man who listens and asks, not the other way around.

About Listening

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in the Listening category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Preaching is the next category.

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