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open your ears

SCRIPTURE - JAMES 1:19-20                                                                                                          SEPTEMBER, 2013
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
One of our biggest problems in this nation, is that there is the lack of understanding between people, due to the fact that most don't take the time to communicate with each other.

Whether it is families, friends, associates, or whomever, people go around with 'chips' on their shoulder, because in their minds, no one understands them, and they feel out of place.

Well, if you think about it, misunderstandings come from the fact that, people don't take the time to listen to each other.

In a conversation, each person should be willing to allow the other[s], to talk about whatever it is they are conversing about, before voicing their opinion on the matter.

It is called 'common courtesy.'

As the scripture in this message reveals, we should be ready to hear what others have to say, moreso than jumping in and cutting them off, so that they can get their point across.

In relationships like a husband and wife, it is essential for each to communicate with each other, so that there can be a total understanding of what each expects from the other, in particular situations. Lack of communication, and misunderstandings, are the primary causes of troubled marriages, and relationships.

In most instances, the man, tends to want to do all the talking, and won't let the wife get a word in edge wise. This makes her feel like she has little or no say about how things in the marriage should go. She is made to feel like a little child, who essentially is told, don't speak unless I tell you to.

Of course, this may not be the husband's intent, but, that is the way it comes across. And, the reason he never changes his attitude, is because he may not be aware of how his wife feels, because he won't let her say anything.

However, at some point, she gets so frustrated that she goes nuts on him, or leaves the marriage, and the husband doesn't know why.

I had this problem back when I first got married, even though I was saved. That's right, yours truly had a communication problem, with my wife. Of course, at the time I didn't realize why it was that we never seemed to be on the same page, regarding how things were going in the house.

I was the one that always made the decisions because, as most honest men will attest to, I was the one bringing home the bacon, and as such, dictated how it was to be spent. By this I mean, I spent 'my money', on what 'I' wanted.

Of course I gave my wife money to buy the necessities for the house, and clothes for herself, and the kids, but, the rest?? That was mine.

It wasn't long before she told me, we needed counseling. I didn't want to hear it. The minute she would start saying something, I would get in defensive mode, and shut down, or storm out of the house.

What the whole problem boiled down to, after I finally went to counseling, is that she was frustrated because of my blowing all my money on things that were unnecessary, and a waste of money. Most of those things, after I used them for a while, I put away, and never used them again.

How much smoother our marriage could have been from the beginning, if I had sat down, and let her have her say??

You men, need to take heed to your wives, who, most of the time, are the ones that have constructive input for the marriage. It is very seldom, that the situation is reversed, where the wife is the one doing all the talking, and not listening to the husband.

Many divorces, not to mention, violence in the marriage, stem from situations like this.

In the case of friends, and associates, it is not necessarily that bad, because you don't have to live with them everyday. However, the result of a person being someone that acts and thinks like they know more about what is going on, about certain situations, than everyone else, may soon find themselves alone.

People don't like to made to feel like they are someone's child. Yet, the attitude of always over talking someone, is doing just that.

Many times people get in arguments, and fights, because someone misunderstood what a person said, and, instead of getting a clarification of what the person said, they go off on the person.

If you will notice the subject scripture, it says, we should be slow to wrath. Well, in order to be that, you have to be willing to listen.

Communication is when one person tells someone else what they think, and the other person understands exactly what the person thinks. If there is any discrepancy in that understanding, the person should ask the other to repeat it again, so that they can be sure. Then, they should repeat the message, to make sure both are on the same page.

A lot of disagreements take place, when this step is not taken, and somewhere down the road, things get all out of whack, because one person is out of step with the other[s], and things start falling apart.

When talking to an individual, or group, about a problem that they are having, in order for me to counsel them correctly, I have to listen to them, in depth, so I can know exactly where they are coming from, before I can give them the correct diagnosis.

When I was younger, I used to see programs, on the TV, where a person, visiting their 'shrink', would be lying on a couch, talking away, and their doctor, would be sitting there, taking notes, and not saying a word. That was the funniest thing, at the time. Now that I am grown, and 'saved' I understand the basics. The subject scripture, shows the basic foundation of what the doctor was doing.

He wanted to get the full picture of what was going on with the patient, before he opened his mouth, to render the solution.

When it comes to the problems we have in this nation, the same direction, needs to apply.

The vast majority of our problems, stem from the fact that, just like me, and my wife, the minute she told me that I needed correction, I shut down. I didn't want to hear it. I stormed out of the house. I would go on the attack, over talking her, and trying to make her shut up.

Have you ever been to, what is supposed to be a community forum, discussion, or some other gathering where problems, and grievances are to be discussed, in order to find a solution??

It is a rare occasion, that things will go smoothly.

First, you have whatever the problem is.

Then, if you are the one that called, or set up the forum, you then have to explain what the problem is, from your standpoint. In a lot of instances, depending on just what is being addressed, the people will be quiet, and give the person a chance to state their case.

After that, there should be time set aside, for, the other side[s], to state their case. Then a discussion should follow on how to deal with it, so that every one can come together on the proper solution, and be on the same page.

Problems are sure to arise on 'hot button' issues where people are angry, and fed up, from the get go. They come to these meetings, to blow off steam, and they don't want to sit and hear, anything, especially if it goes against what they have already made their minds up as to how to solve the problem. That is when you have problems.

I have been to a few of such meetings, and, depending on the subject, it can get very heated. That is why they have security guards present, to help keep some type of order.

In a couple of recent meetings, I have noticed that, what was supposed to be a discussion of a particular problem, was not that at all, but rather a rally, where the one[s], setting it up, wanted only people that agreed with them to attend. If you happened to be someone that disagreed with the others, then, you would, at the least, be shouted down, or at the worst, jumped on.

Ever been to a meeting, where nothing gets done, because every one is screaming at each other?? Ever been to one, where fights break out?? All of this, because no one wants to listen. All they want to do, is talk. Some times, the loudest one[s] doing the talking, are doing so, to prevent a solution to a problem, that they don't want implemented. Usually it is because, that solution, may go against their best interests.

In a community, the best thing for them, is to decide what is best for the entire community, rather than what is best for the individual, or few. That means, when people move in to a community, or attend some institution, or get a job at some business, they should be aware of what their policies are, on certain activities, as moral conduct, and other activities, that are considered, proper, and improper, then abide by them. If they don't like them, then, they should quit, move, or not apply.

What we have in our society today, are activist individuals, who, like what I used to be, aren't satisfied with hearing anything that they don't like, and set about to disrupt any individual, group, community, or business, that they don't like, because they see them as a threat, to their way of thinking.

Most individuals like this, are those that are not happy, and they don't want to see anyone happy, as long as they are suffering. The problem is, most of the time, they are unhappy, because of something they themselves are doing wrong, that is causing their problem[s].

The thing is, you can't tell them, because they don't want to hear it.

Listening, is the first step, in communication, and understanding. The minute you stop listening, you are headed for trouble. Especially if what you refuse to hear, is from God.

You don't have to listen to me. What I say, is not that important to anyone. However, if I, as an anointed spokesperson of Christ, am relaying His message to you, then, you need to listen. But again, you don't have to do that. The problem then becomes, you will have to face the consequences.

No one likes to be corrected, especially when they have a deep rooted belief, that they are right. However, as Christ says, through His Word,
Prv 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
Prv 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Prv 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:............

Just because we think we know something, or even if we do, it is an honorable thing, to listen to those that disagree with you. It is known as respect. And though some might not render the same to you, does not mean you should reciprocate. Two wrongs, don't make a right. Someone has to have the cooler head.

Family, friends, associates, and communities, get along a whole lot better, if they take God's advice to be more willing to listen, rather than to speak.

And, above every thing else, anger has no place in the picture.

The cemeteries are full of people that, let their pride, and that is what it is, get the better of them, and rather than admitting they were wrong, they reacted in a way that brought about their own destruction.

Look at the violence that plagues our streets. A lot of that stems from what is called a lack of respect, and pride. They just want to have things the way they want, and not care about listening to anything different.

Nations have gone to war, and millions of people have ended up suffering, all because they didn't want to hear, or get an understanding of the grievances of the other side.

You can't learn anything by talking, only by listening.