10 Quotes about Listening

On Sunday, we talked about how listening is maybe the most important thing we can do in order to share God’s story of redemption. So…

1. “When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling.” – Ernest Hemingway in LIFE magazine (January 10, 1949), Volume 26, No. 2, p. 90.

2. “Those who answer before they listen are foolish and disgraceful.” – writer of Proverbs 18:13 (CEB)

3. “Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.” – Henri Nouwen

4. “Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.” – Eudora Welty from One Writer’s Beginnings
 
5. If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” – Brene Brown in Daring Greatly 
 
6. “When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen.” – Stephen Covey
 
7. “A mysterious power is often felt in moments of listening. Something shifts. When a human being looks into another’s eyes, accepting even the broken or unsavory parts, it evokes a deep and abiding hope.” – Nicole Chilivis in “Listening Well” in Christian Century (May 28, 2014)
 
8. “Lord, you listen to the desires of those who suffer.
      You steady their hearts;
     you listen closely to them, to establish justice for the orphan
and the oppressed,
      so that people of the land will never again be terrified.” – writer of Psalm 10:16-18 (CEB)
 
9. “Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry.” – writer of James 1:19 (CEB)
 
10. Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” – Matthew 15:10-11 (NIV)
 

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