"Be swift to hear, but slow to speak," these words though spoken centuries ago still carry a wonderful and wise message. Words are powerful! They can lift someone's spirit, encourage someone to move forward, bring hope to the hopeless, give joy to the grieving, and at times give the strength needed to move someone closer to realizing their dreams. On the other hand, words can tear down, bring grief, cause sorrow, destroy dreams, crush the spirit, and build walls that may never come down.
To be swift to hear, simply means be a good listener. Here are a few quick tips.
•1. Look at the person speaking. Don't be afraid to make eye contact and don't be distracted by things around you.
•2. Listen to what the person is saying. Often we are looking at the person, but not hearing what they're saying. One of the main reasons that we do this is we are contemplating what we are going to say next.
•3. Learn from what you hear. People will tell you much about themselves, their needs, and their expectations if you just listen closely to what they're saying.
To be slow to speak, simply means that you have given thought to what you're about to say.
•1. Consider this, are the words you're about to speak going to build up or tear down.
•2. If your words point out a problem, then be ready to help find a solution.
•3. If your words are going to rebuke, then be sure to speak with firmness, but laced with compassion.
•4. There is much more that I could add and may say later, but for now think on this and remember you have the power to make a difference in the lives of others simply by using words.