Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Suggested Reading: Job 20-21

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

These are some of the ruins of ancient Laodicea in present-day western Turkey. The city was founded by Seleucid King Antiochus II in honour of his wife, Laodice. Laodicea became a prosperous Roman market town on the trade route from the east, famous for its woolen and cotton cloths. The city was an early centre of Christianity and one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 3:14-22). It was to the Laodicean church that the Lord said, "Behold I stand at the door and knock." God is knocking on the doors of the hearts of Job and his freiends.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verse: Job 21:2

Listen carefully to my speech, and let this be your consolation.

Job’s counsel in the sentence above is excellent advice for us. The contrast between Zophar’s words in chapter 20 and Job’s words in chapter 21 is obvious. To Zophar, “The triumphing of the wicked is short.” To Job, “The wicked live and become old.” In his efforts at grief counselling, Zophar approaches life in a negative way. Job is beginning to be more positive. He’s on his way to healing and restoration.

Job tells us to “listen carefully.” The word “consolation” could also be translated, “comfort.” Most of us are better at speaking than we are at listening. Many of our conversations are just monologues. We wait impatiently for the other person to finish so that we can speak. We often do not really hear what is being said to us. God often had to say, “Hear, O Israel” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Jesus says to the churches, “He that has an ear to hear, let him hear” (Revelatoin 2:7). We need to learn to listen to God, and if we are to be true friends, we must also learn to listen to people. Only when we truly “hear” and understand, should we attempt to give counsel.


God…Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, may I listen with great care to You as I read Your Word each day, and I quietly wait before You, listening for the whisper of that “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-13). May I also listen much more carefully to people, particularly before I attempt to give counsel. In the Name of the One who listens to my prayer, the Lord Jesus, Amen!!!


Yesterday I read the plea of Job, “How long will you ….. break me in pieces with words?” (Job 19:2). Perhaps the first couplet I ever learned as a child was, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I thought it was true, and it became a defence against bullying. Now I know it’s a false statement. Words can destroy a person. Many suicides are the result of “words.” Crossroads has launched a campaign against suicide, particularly among young people (click here for the latest resource on the topic, a documentary DVD).

This past Sunday at church I met June Craig. She gave me a copy of her book, “Climbing the Stairs of Loss and Grief.” I’ve read it and I recommend it. To read more about her book or to order it, click here. June is a professional counsellor as well as a business person. Her words are excellent counsel. If I were to suffer grievous loss, I would read her book again.

Yours for learning to listen more before we speak,


One of the many buildings that remain of ancient Laodicea.

14 thoughts on “Wednesday, August 21, 2013

  1. Sometimes I think we might be too quick to speak, when really we need to take a time-out to consult with God’s Word, glean His wisdom and then move forward.

  2. Oh how sad to go through a loss of a child it never leaves your mind but the joy of having yhe time you had was all so marvelous this is where your mind goes to knowing and spent time , and the loss of a parent is such a joy knowing uou will see them again but all the times you spent loving holding and just being with them brings back sweet memories , Oh how we can praise God for seeing and being with them again PRAISE GOD

  3. It is interesting how Job listened to his “friend” and as you say, how much stronger he was to present a different perspective. Many could be totally depressed, if the comments were taken personally as reasons for loss. As Jesus said in Matthew 5:45b “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Of course, there are consequences. Thankfully, we have a caring Father who actively listens to all our prayers and needs. Even before we ask, He knows! Have a great day, to all!

  4. Most think listening is a passive activity– but to do it effectively requires real attention and it is very active. Because the way we hear what is being said to us is often filter through our own perspective and backgrounds– it is important to listen to not what we think we hear, but to what the speaker is actually saying. We need to remember they are speaking through their experiences and their words are being filter through their perspective not ours.
    They say lovemaking is merely a good conversation without words. Why? Because conversation is an intimate act requiring trust on the behalf of the speaker to freely reveal their thoughts, and empathy on the behalf listener, to be able to put themselves into the speakers shoes–to see the topic through another person’s eyes. This is what happens when we pray— if we listen to God, if we truly converse we will hear His perspective and God puts Himself into our shoes when He listens to us.
    Being heard and understood is vital for all relationships– the skill to express ourselves well is good–but the skill of hearing what is being said properly is priceless. When we know we are heard and understood we feel loved. I finally got God’s love for me when I knew He was really listening to me. He heard me and He understood me–and later that love grew deeper when I began to listen to Him.

    Wishing everyone a blessed day

  5. Have you ever tried to carry out a two sided conversation with a person who doesn’t listen? It is frustrating! I have actually waved my hands in front of their faces and said point blank ” your not listening ” . Yet to no avail they have finished their narative and adruptly left, leaving me bewilderd and feeling like an empty shell.Thoughts unspoken and questions unanswered. This is especially disheartning if you have a need to be met that you believe that person may be able to assist you in resolving. Your reason for the conversation isn’t to make a point nor is it to be right. On the contrary there could be many reasons, maby to learn or to examine in order to know the truth in order to have a better under standing of a matter or to find a solution to a problem.
    When you talk to people with Deaf ears it feels hopeless.
    I can do nothing but pray for that person and my self.
    God answers prayer , but …. aren’t we his vessels through which he answers prayer. He is not a majician who says presto or wha-la or abra-ca-ba-bra.

    I to want to be a better listener . I want to be used by the lord to not only hear
    the needs but to meet the needs of others. If and when I can.
    If you ask me for some thing beyond my capabilities then I will pray to God to send the right person with the right solution in to your life.

    I believe that if we do have the capabilities and send that person away with out
    meeting his needs being met according to our capability and only offer prayer. Then I believe we are , “as they say ” passing the buck. If a person needs food or money some given is better than giveing none. If it is consolation through a lengthy discution and prayer that is needed then you need to make time for that person via phone or in person.

    That said , Lord may all of us become better listeners and better doers.
    In Jesus name. Amen!
    Love and prayers to all 🙂

  6. May we always pay attention and listen, or we might miss out on a blessing God is sending us through the other person.

    I am learning to be a better listener and have patience while the other person talks.

    Thanks for all of your encouraging words.

  7. My Dad used to tell me, “we have two ears and one mouth because we are supposed to listen more then we talk.”
    I can forget that at times! 🙂

  8. Thank you each one for your input today.
    Here’s another thot….
    “Give no offense, take no offense”

    Blessings in listening and speaking!!!

  9. Thank you so much for your 100 Words. I read it faithfully and save it daily but lately whenever I try to save it says it already is saved. Please add /2013 to the date such as Aug. 21/2013. I think it saves over last year. I enjoy reading your comments so very much.

    Thanks so much

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