Listening

If you are not a charming conversationalist you might still be a big hit as a charming listener. You can win more friends with your ears than you mouth. Did you notice that you can earn an entire degree in communication, yet not take a single class on listening? Apparently “Listening 101” is not considered a part of communication at a university, yet 50% of any communication transaction involves the part where someone listens.

Have you ever taken the time to think about what qualities make one a good, or a poor listener? A nod of the head, eye contact, a word of encouragement (“Go on, I’m listening”) would certainly help. In Jesus’ parable of the soils (Matthew 13:1-23), the verb to hear is used 15 times, and such figurative terms for hearing as “see,” and “perceive” are used 16 times. Continue reading “Listening”

Saved by faith alone? yes! no!

One problem with language involves assuming we accurately understand others. Biblical wisdom would remind us, “The one who gives an answer before he listens – that is his folly and his shame” (Proverbs 18:13).

Consider for example someone asserting, “We are saved by faith alone.” Do you agree or disagree?

Since this statement could describe two very different ideas, a better response than offering a knee jerk “yes” or “no” would be to first seek clarification. Continue reading “Saved by faith alone? yes! no!”