A Greek philosopher by the name of Epictetus coined a phrase a long time ago that was very similar to this quote saying: “God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
There is a time to speak and a time to be silent. Most of us are better at the former and not so good at the latter. Our mouths get us into a lot of trouble. We profess to believe one thing, but then we are often betrayed by what comes out of our mouths. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12:34).
Most of us are not naturally quick to listen, but we can train ourselves to be better listeners. Good listening is active. It engages with the speaker. It understands the speaker’s perspective, even if we disagree. When people feel heard, they are more willing to listen to our side.
Being quick to listen actually opens the door to greater communication because listening shows respect, and when people feel respected, they are more likely to return that respect and listen to us. It is important for us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. God’s Word always shows us the best way, and when we follow it, we are blessed. Wisdom begins when we listen more and talk less.
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” – Proverbs 18:2
God gave us mouths that close and ears that don’t. That should tell us something.