July 5, 2022

The Wisdom and Gifts of Listening

Written by Shana Schutte

The wise have ears to hear that are rooted in hearts of humility.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 5, 2022

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19 

I once attended a work conference and during one brainstorming session, (which was filled with over 200 participants) one of the moderators listed a problem for us to solve on a large whiteboard which was positioned at the front of the room.  

Then, we were asked to help solve the presented dilemma by offering up individual solutions. One by one, answers were added to a list on the whiteboard until a massive number of solutions was compiled. I was blown away by the collective knowledge in the room. No one person knew everything, but collectively we knew a lot.

This is how it is in the body of Christ. No one person knows everything, but collectively, we have an amazing amount of wisdom given to us by Christ.

To access this collective wisdom that comes from others, it takes a great deal of humility, which often needs to be exercised through listening well and being present with the speaker.  

When I listen to others to learn from them, it means I am not only holding back from speaking while they are talking for their good and blessing, but also for mine . . . knowing that in being slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19), I am benefitting myself and I am growing in the knowledge of the Lord.

The wise have ears to hear that are rooted in hearts of humility. Without humility, we will not be slow to speak. Without humility, we will not be quick to listen—and without humility we will miss out on the gifts of wisdom that come from others. 

Listening well does not mean I am sitting quietly without utterances. It means I am absorbing what the other person says, seeking to understand them and to also understand what God may be saying to me through them.

Listening well with a heart of understanding means I must slow down. It means I need to set aside what I am doing in the moment to be present. 

It also means I understand that it’s not only the other person who is speaking to me, but God may want to speak to me as well through one of his servants.

If I am under the illusion that I don’t need help, that I already know everything, or that I have already heard at all, my sense of curiosity and thirst for wisdom will be quenched.

But when I accept the truth that I do not know everything but that collectively the body of Christ has much to teach me about Jesus, I will be open to listen well and learn too. To hear others well, means that my world expands and enlarges. When I believe I am a world unto myself, I will remain small without growth. 

Imagine the collective wisdom that those just in your inner circle or in your closest group of friends possess. Will you take time to listen to them and hear them today?

“A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel” (Proverbs 1:5).


Lord, please help me to slow down and listen to those around me with a heart of curiosity and humility. Amen.


Practice being slow to speak and quick to listen today.

Related Reading

Luke 10:16; Proverbs 20:5; Proverbs 12:18

Worship Resource

Chris McClarney: I’m Listening


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