Monday, November 19, 2007

The ministry of listening

I've been reminded of this recently. When I compare listening to speaking and think about the qualities of each, I'm much more impressed with the humble and loving nature of listening.

"The first service one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love of God begins in listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that He not only gives us His Word but lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him."
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954]