Prov. 29:20-Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
A long time ago I decided to put my tongue to wise use. See, I'm a communicator. I love to talk. I've been told I have the "gift of gab" and yada, yada but its no good to always talk and never say anything. Who wants to be around a motor mouth? But we live in a loquacious society full of talk, talk, talk that is saying not a thing. So, I began to study communication, I committed my tongue to a 30 day fast and began to study what the Lord said about talking. He says in James 3:2 if I control my tongue, I can control my whole body. I wanted that kind of self-control where I was no longer trying to un-ring a bell, I just wouldn't say stuff I shouldn't say in the first place! What I learned astounded me. What I observed while studying people and how we communicate/talk astounded me more so. Most of us talk, we inflict our opinion and way of thinking over onto others but rarely do we let anything in. Few people feel listened to. Heard. In fact, most get into a communication box and stay there. Their style of communication is the same no matter who they're talking too. They do no homework in observing others when they're talking to see if they're even tuned in. Most people are just showing off verbally and its those people who are like "wonk-wonk-wonkwonk" Charlie Brown's teacher in my ear. Men,heres a little tip because I deal with this issue in coaching women all the time...you'd do well to listen more to an over-communicating woman. Yes. Listen to her more even in the midst of her talkativeness. Tune in and let her rip! You have no idea the lengths an emotionally out of control woman can go through to be heard. I'm sure if you live with a contentious (talkative, combative) woman you know better than I can tell you. Let me submit to you if you learn to listen to her so she feels you hear her you just may get the peace and quiet you seek. Lead by example and see if it works. Has telling her she talks too much and shut up worked?
Submitting your tongue, how you communicate requires a turn against the tide of this society. You have to be willing to go silent. In this "you're going to hear what I got to say" world that is difficult at best, next to impossible at worst. We are a society of blaring noise. Always, always talking, very rarely communicating. In the interest of promoting good communication skills I've developed a technique that interrupts and frustrates people but I learned it to keep people from repetitively communicating the same garbage that I'm just not wanting to listen to. As a good listener, I'm very careful who/ what I listen to. Its amazing how many of those poor communicators whine back to me "but, I want you to listen to me, you keep talking." Its only then I get to tell them they fail to realize I'm a good listener people like to talk to and as such they've told me what they're about to say like 20 times now and I'm tired of hearing it. I want them to know I heard them the first twenty times so now can we communicate? Can I offer you my perspective? Will you even listen or am I to be silent recepticle to your repetitiveness?
In this mobile technology world we can say a lot to each other any time day or night. This world would be better if we could learn this simple fact...to listen is not to hear. Hearing requires some hard work. You can't passively accept information just because its spoken or written. Good listening requires you to silence your thoughts, still your tongue and take in what someone is saying to you--seeking to understand and to then be heard yourself. Beloved, today, let's determine to be better communicators. Give someone your listening ear and shut mouth today-- a good gift to give indeed!