Sunday, March 04, 2007

Humility is Being a Good Listener

Being a good listener is an indispensable skill in negotiating relationships of any kind, in any arena. In a world where we are encouraged to make our points by raising the volume of our discourse, it's a sad reality that listening is now a lost virtue.

Recently, I've become convinced of the need to grow in the seemingly simple practice of listening. I discovered an article from John Piper that proved particularly helpful to me as I pondered my deficiencies in this area. If you struggle as I do, please read the article in entirety but here are a couple of nuggets to whet your appetite.

"It is arrogant to answer before you hear. Humility does not presume that it knows precisely what a person is asking until the questioner has finished asking the question."

"Proverbs 18:13 says it is our “folly” to answer before we hear. That is, it will make us a fool. One reason for this is that almost all premature answers are based on thinking we know all we need to know. But that is “foolish.” Our attitude should be: What can I learn from this question? The fool thinks he knows all he needs to know. "

From this, I'm concluding that being a good listener isn't just a matter of courtesy, it's a mark of humility.


andre said...

I received a couple of emails regarding the Piper link. I'm sorry about that - I actually spotted it, myself but unfortunately, the first version of my post was out there for a while. I think it's now corrected.

Just in case, here's how you find it - go to and under resources, search for "listening". The article is entitled Ten Reasons To Listen To Questions Before You Answer.

chang wei hao said...

Hi Andre, it was a pleasure to meet you on Sunday and I'm full of thanksgiving that the Lord has put it in ur heart for such a vision for Asia... (at last someone with the technical know-how and commitment to make it work!) and for the kindred spirit we share in the project. Let's keep the discussions going and commit it to the lord...

Anonymous said...

listen to your heart <3