Just Shut Up and Listen!

>> Sunday, March 28, 2010

The other morning, instead of reading my devotional book, I opened an email that I got from the Proverbs 31 Ministries. I love the stuff they send and that morning was no different. I was overwhelmed with the verses  --  mostly because they applied to me so well.

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4 (NIV)

1 Samuel 2:3, "Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed." (NIV)

Jeremiah 9:24, "'But let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,' declares the LORD." (NIV)

That morning's message hit me close to home. There have been times when I have caught myself in conversation...if someone says something or shares a story, sometimes I have to share a similar story. Or in conversation I'll let it be known that I did something nice for someone and then wait for someone to say - oh, that was so nice of you.

And it's so hard sometimes because I believe that we all want to be known and recognized. Look what I did! Aren't I such a good friend because I did this or that? But what it comes down to is that the only person that matters is God. He is the only one we should be seeking approval from.

At the beginning of Lent, I gave up a few things, but I also added a few things as well.  I decided to do an act of kindness every day, but do it anonymously....to not tell anyone what I was doing.  It ranged from paying for the coffee of the person behind me in the Starbucks drive-through, to leaving random little care packages on the door steps of friends.  One friend did ask me - "Was it you?".....and even though it was, I denied it.  For once, I didn't want to be known.

I found that when I kept my mouth shut, I could truly HEAR what was being said.  When I could hear the words, I would know how to pray for them.  Instead of thinking ahead of how I can share a comparable story, I just would sit and listen.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I haven't completely turned over a new leaf.  I still catch myself wanting to share my experiences or talk about something I did so that I can get that "pat on the back". 

But now, I'm more mindful of it.  And when I find myself wanting to open my mouth, I can think of the prayer that accompanied that Proverbs 31 devotion:

Dear Lord, forgive me for seeking approval from anyone but You. Teach me to be silent so I can hear others and most importantly, hear You. Bring to my attention, in a way that only You can, times when I am becoming self-absorbed during conversations. Thank You for loving me enough to help me grow. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

This is definitely something that I am going to try to be more mindful of.


昱廷 March 28, 2010 at 5:07 AM  

thank you for you to make me learn more,thank you∩0∩ ........................................

Rachel Cotterill March 28, 2010 at 8:35 AM  

I think I needed to hear that - thank you. I can be such a chatterbox, and even though I love to listen to other people, I could someties do with keeping quiet for longer...

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