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Communication is one of the most essential needs for any relationship or business relationship to be successful. Listening is something many of us take for granted. We often hear what others are saying to us, but more often, we do not listen to what they say.
When we listen to others, we use conscious effort to not just hear information passed on to us from someone else. But to be able to absorb it and understand where they are coming from.
Active listening doesn't just enhance our ability to comprehend what a person is trying to communicate to us, but it also makes us better communicators as a result. Others will enjoy the quality of their conversations with us because we are active listeners.
Why Some of Us Don't Know How to Listen
Some of us don’t listen because we’ve picked up the bad habit of being poor listeners, or at the moment when someone is looking to communicate with us, we are distracted by issues going on in our lives.
A pet-peeve of mine is going to a drive-thru to order a meal, and I'm asked, “What can we get for you today?” Then after communicating my order, the employee says, “Sorry, can you repeat that?”
I also get a little beside myself when I plainly place an order, and the person gets my order wrong in a drive-thru and then says, “No, you didn’t ask for that.” That thing they failed to give me was the very reason I went to the establishment in the first place.
I place great stock into being a great and effective communicator. So, when that effort isn't matched, like it's not at many fast-food restaurants, I will order my meals on the app instead, even if I am in the establishment's parking lot while ordering.
Many misunderstandings in life occur because one or more parties are not listening to the other when they are communicating.
We are usually consumed with our own thoughts, distracted by something or someone, have a conflicting opinion, or have already formulated a response to what someone is saying before hearing them out.
The Bible has much to say about communication. God wants us to be good at listening not only to others but to Him as well.
If we apply scripture to our daily lives, we will become better listeners, build or improve upon quality relationships, and be effective when relating to others when we communicate.
After looking at practical reasons why it’s important to listen to others, we will explore bible verses about listening that will solidify the importance of it in our everyday interactions with others.
Why is it Important to Listen to Others?
Being able to listen to others is vital for many reasons.
- You learn valuable information from others to help you develop socially and professionally.
- You avoid misunderstandings and make sound decisions based on the facts presented to you.
- You become better at socializing.
- It’s therapeutic for you and them.
- You’re able to sympathize with others and become less judgmental.
- People in a relationship with you feel valued and accepted, strengthening your relationship.
- You develop a greater ability to solve problems.
- You become better at absorbing external information.
- It is an excellent expression of love toward others.
Being a listener doesn't come naturally to most of us, so we must make a conscious and persistent effort to be effective and active listeners.
It's essential to concentrate on what others are saying, take it all in, and refrain from making premature statements that waste your time and those speaking to you.
It’s important to actively listen to others. Poor communication can create more significant issues and worsen matters, whether you are communicating with your family, friends, partners, or colleagues.
My cousin Todd was recently in the dog house with his wife.
Todd's wife came home from a stressful day at work and attempted to talk to him about it. She was frustrated that her boss had been ignoring her suggestions and treating her poorly.
Unfortunately, Todd was distracted by the football game he was watching on TV. His wife asked him what she should do about the issues with her boss, but when he couldn't provide an answer, he really wasn't listening to her.
As a result, his wife became very upset with him. Instead of actively listening to his wife and her problems and offering sound advice, Todd worsened his wife's bad day. She not only felt ignored at work, but she also now felt ignored at home.
Failure to listen can cause you to fall into many problems that could have been avoided and save you valuable time in many processes and procedures.
Almost any career offers training. Adhering to the information expressed by the trainer can save a new employee a ton of heartache. A company trainer usually knows whether someone will work out on the job by how well they listen.
Listening can also save your life. That is why many large commercial trucks put reverse sirens and alarms on their vehicles to warn others. They hear the sound and know to look out. People will warn us, too. Listening to sound advice can save your hide.
Also, listening to others shows you are teachable and can be an avenue to more significant revenue in business. What took someone years to learn, you can learn it simply by being a quality listener.
When trying to sell a product to a potential client, actively listening to their needs and supplying a viable solution will help you secure the account.
How to be a Better Listener
Here are a few things you can do to communicate better with others.
- Focus on what is being expressed to you without distraction and responding prematurely.
- Make eye contact to engage with the speaker. You may nod occasionally to let the person speaking know you are listening to them.
- Don’t interrupt the person speaking. Let them finish before asking questions or sharing your opinion.
- Give a summary of what was said before providing an answer to ensure you have a clear understanding before offering advice or sharing your side of the story.
When you do these things, others will perceive you as a great person to talk to because you're such a good listener.
We are most like Christ as Christians when we listen to what is on someone's heart.
You will find that people just need someone to bounce ideas off of or just to hear themselves explain a situation out loud. Then the answer comes to them, but you were still there and available to be a shoulder for them to lean on.
37 Bible Verses about the Importance of Listening to Others
1. James 1:19
“Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving].”
2. Psalms 34:15
“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous [those with moral courage and spiritual integrity], and His ears are open to their cry.”
3. Proverbs 18:13
“He who answers before he hears [the facts]— It is folly and shame to him.”
4. Psalms 34:11
“Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you to fear the Lord [with awe-inspired reverence and worship Him with obedience].”
5. Philippians 2:3-4
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4
6. Proverbs 6:20-22
“My son, be guided by your father’s [God-given] commandment (instruction) and do not reject the teaching of your mother; Bind them continually upon your heart (in your thoughts) and tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they (the godly teachings of your parents) will guide you; when you sleep, they will keep watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you.”
7. Proverbs 10:17
“He who learns from instruction and correction is on the [right] path of life [and for others his example is a path toward wisdom and blessing], but he who ignores, and refuses correction goes off course [and for others his example is a path toward sin and ruin].”
8. Romans 10:17
“So, faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ.”
9. Psalms 81:7-8
“You called in [the time of] trouble, and I rescued you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah. “Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you—O Israel if you would listen to Me!”
10. Revelations 3:22
“He who has an ear, let him hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches.”
11. Psalms 46:10-11
“Be still and know (recognize, listen, and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower]. Selah.”
12. Jeremiah 26:3-6
“It may be that they will listen and everyone will turn from his wickedness, so that I may relent and reverse [My decision concerning] the disaster which I am planning to do to them because of their malevolent deeds.’ And you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “If you will not listen to Me and obey My law which I have set before you, and listen and follow [carefully] the words of My servants the prophets, whom I have been sending to you repeatedly—though you have not listened— then I will make this house [the temple] like Shiloh, and I will make this city [subject to] the curse of all nations of the earth [because it will be so vile in their sight].”
13. Psalms 29:3-5
“The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.”
14. Psalms 143:8
“Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for I trust in you. Teach me the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to you.”
15. Isaiah 55:2-3
“Why do you spend money for that which is not bread and your earnings for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight in abundance. “Incline your ear [to listen] and come to Me; hear, so that your soul may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies [promised and] shown to David.”
Why do you spend money for that which is not bread and your earnings for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight in abundance. “Incline your ear [to listen] and come to Me; hear, so that your soul may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies [promised and] shown to David.” – Isaiah 55:2-3
16. Jeremiah 29:12-13
“Then you will call on Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice], and I will listen to you. Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
17. Matthew 7:12
“So then, in everything, treat others the same way you want them to treat you, for this is [the essence of] the Law and the [writings of the] Prophets.”
18. Jeremiah 33:3
“Call to Me, and I will answer you and tell you [and even show you] great and mighty things, [things which have been confined and hidden], which you do not know and understand and cannot distinguish.”
19. Psalms 116:1-2
“I love the Lord, because He hears [and continues to hear] my voice and my supplications (my pleas, my cries, my specific needs). Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.”
20. Psalms 50:15
“Call on Me in the day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”
21. Isaiah 65:24
“It shall also come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”
22. Ephesians 4:29
“Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].”
23. Proverbs 10:19
“When there are many words, transgression, and offense are unavoidable, But he who controls his lips and keeps thoughtful silence is wise.”
24. Proverbs 25:11
“Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken at the right time.”
25. 1st John 5:14-15
“This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us. And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him.”
This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us. And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him.” – 1st John 5:14-15
26. Proverbs 15:28
“The heart of the righteous thinks carefully about how to answer [in a wise and appropriate and timely way], but the [babbling] mouth of the wicked pours out malevolent things.”
27. Colossians 4:6
“Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you].”
28. Exodus 20:19
“Then they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen, but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.”
29. Psalms 18:6
“In my distress [when I seemed surrounded] I called upon the Lord and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry for help came before Him, into His very ears.”
30. Proverbs 12:25
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good (encouraging) word makes it glad.”
31. Proverbs 1:33
“But whoever listens to me (Wisdom) will live securely and in confident trust. And will be at ease, without fear or dread of evil.”
32. Proverbs 12:15
“The way of the [arrogant] fool [who rejects God’s wisdom] is right in his own eyes, but a wise and prudent man is he who listens to counsel.”
33. 1st Thessalonians 5:11
“Therefore, encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.”
34. James 1:22
“But prove yourselves, doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God's precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].”
But prove yourselves, doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God's precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].” – James 1:22
35. Proverbs 1:5
“The wise will hear and increase their learning, and the person of understanding will acquire wise counsel and the skill [to steer his course wisely and lead others to the truth].”
36. Proverbs 2:2
“So that your ear is attentive to [skillful and godly] wisdom and apply your heart to understanding [seeking it conscientiously and striving for it eagerly].”
37. Matthew 11:15
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.”
Final Thoughts on Bible Verses About Listening
Listening to others shows them that they matter. When we ignore others, they feel unheard, which can be a very painful experience. We all need and crave validation and acknowledgment to feel happy, valued, and important.
It should break our hearts to know that a friend, co-worker, or relative felt invisible, neglected, or rejected because we were terrible listeners when they needed us the most.
In scripture, God placed a high value on being listeners. The basis of Christian beliefs is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Scripture says that “Faith” comes from hearing (actively listening) to God's word and applying it to our daily lives. He not only wants us to listen to others but listen to Him.
God uses everyday people like us to speak into the lives of others to uplift, give direction, correction, and bring comfort. But it can't happen if we don't listen. So, may we be his hands and feet today to make someone feel cherished, respected, and affirmed.
And if you're looking for more bible verses to inspire you, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 27 Inspiring Bible Verses About New Beginnings
- 25 Important Bible Verses About Practicing Humility
- 25 Bible Verses About Dealing with Sadness or Depression