I have these wise words about the difficult art of listening posted on the mirror in our bathroom, so I’m daily reminded of the importance of giving other people the precious gift of listening to them. Not giving them advice. Not fixing them. Not rescuing them. Just listening.



When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice, you have not done what I ask.

When I ask you to listen to me, and you begin to tell me why I should not feel that way, you have trapped my feelings

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

Listen. All I ask is that you listen. Not talk or do…just listen and hear me.

When you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you and get about the business of understanding what’s behind the irrational feeling.

When that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (James 1:19)

Torben – who is learning that when I really listen to people, often times God comes through and reveals himself to people when they speak. I don’t even have to say anything!

1 Response to “Listen”

  1. 1 Donna
    February 23, 2009 at 1:23 am

    Thanks Torbin for these wise words. I have made a copy to help me remember.
    Donna K

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