Sunday, September 03, 2006


I spoke on Proverbs 18 today, focusing on verse 13, "If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame."
In preparation I came across this from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with 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 also lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him. Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking.
Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening.
If we are the Body of Christ as St. Paul, and Casting Crowns both say we are, then shouldn't we be paying attention to what God is up to in the lives of those we are speaking with? And how can they hear what God is up to without someone preaching? And how can we gain an audience if we won't at the very least listen to them?

More on Bonhoeffer at:

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