Listening: My Specialty!

As I grow in Christ, I find something amazing happening– I listen more! No not a perfect listener, as I major in interrupting people. 
I can quickly understand a point being made by another person, and if they are wandering around the galaxy trying to make this point, I believe it my pastoral duty to interrupt, and lovingly attempting to reattach their comments to a previous thought.
My wife has mentioned to me several times that this is rude.
In a recent conversation, a pastor friend of mine quoted James, “Everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” 
I listened to him without interrupting. 
What an amazing passage.  It stands in contrast to Twitter, Facebook posts, and media diatribes on 24 hour news cycles of ‘quick to speak, quick to anger, and never listening’.
Speak louder, be rude, and throw in coarse language — it’s important to win, not listen and learn.
I need to quench myself often. I have an inherent need to ask questions and share my opinion.  I don’t mind an argument, and if you are debating with me, I’m not listening as I’m thinking of what I can say to obliterate your comments.
Pastor Grant, at his finest!  Did I mention that my wife says that this is rude?
Finding God’s will? The problem isn’t that God is not speaking but we are not listening.  Arguing spouses usually need to listen more.  Politics, protests, and doctrine? Peace comes through listening not shouting.
I’m finding that conversation is more enjoyable when I ask a question and listen to an answer.  Last week, I did something amazing when someone contradicted me.  
I didn’t quip a joke or throw an insult.  I didn’t even quote scripture as my final salvo.  I listened, I didn’t reply, I thought about what they said, and I learned something.  
Jesus says in Matthew 15 that we are to listen and understand.
We are re-gathering in our church building this weekend.  You will find me less talkative.  Admittedly, you might assume it is the mask that I’m wearing. No, this is the new quiet, listening, and contemplative Pastor Grant.
Until, of course, you say something really stupid and then the mask comes off!

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