“You never learn anything while you’re talking,” Joan Batura.

I borrowed this title from Paul Batura’s article about his mom’s recipe box. Side note: I have my mom’s and grandma’s recipes. Some of which I now make and deliver to my mom in pint jars. 

Listen twice as much as you talk. It would seem that since God designed us with two ears and only one mouth he meant for us to listen more than talk. James 1:19 says, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak – Epictetus. 

Most people don’t listen while they are in conversation, they are preparing for what they are going to say next. “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply,” Stephen Covey. Instead, we should be practicing active listening where you are concentrating intensely on what the other person has to say and seeking to understand it. In order to be a good listener, we first need to learn how to be silent. That includes, not thinking about how you’re going to reply when another person is talking. 

Even though you might have a lot to say, sometimes it’s best not to respond. In silence, without distractions, that’s when people feel respected and appreciated. People don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.

The Bible talks a lot about the use of our tongues, the words we use and the way we say them. Here are some great examples.

James 3:5-8 talks about the tongue saying – So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 

Proverbs 12:18 – “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” As children of God, our tongues have a lot of power. Proverbs 18:21 confirms this by saying, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

Psalm 39:1 of David, I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.

Proverbs 18:4 A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.

Proverbs 13:3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Forrest Gump’s Mama always said, “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a good reason. He meant for you to listen twice as much as you talk.” 

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