You must understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters: let everyone be quick to listen…
I’m not sure why we think we have to say something all the time. We can chalk up many reasons for that actually, but considering everything, we can begin to see that this often is not the better part of wisdom. It is so much better to hear someone out, put it on pause, perhaps ask some questions, and then maybe offer a humble thought which might lend some help.
But what if our posture was simply one of listening; not speaking, but listening? We’re letting someone get something off their chest. And what better thing can we do then pray about it? Why do we think we either should or actually even can have a good answer, Johnny on the spot?
The best pastors learn to listen to their congregations well, to each one in the church. A good pastor needs to know not only the Lord and scripture, but the people of their flock also. Maybe God will give a pastor the wisdom to offer something helpful right away. But the best thing a pastor can do, as I think Eugene Peterson said or might say is to pray with and for them and teach them to pray.
Listen, listen, and keep listening. Maybe offer advice only if asked to do so rather than doing it, often even before the person is finished sharing their thoughts. May God give us the ears to hear not only God, but also others. And a heart to listen and listen well. In and through Jesus.