There's another portion of scripture that comes to mind with this, and it is in Revelation. It's something that's repeated 7 times in 7 verses throughout 2 chapters. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Ya think that might be important? I don't have my Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with me at the moment, but I know that there are many verses regarding hearing, being slow to speak, etc. If I look back over my life, I can see many times when I spoke rashly, out of anger, out of frustration, out of many things, but when I do that, no one can hear me say, "I love you." I realized, not too long ago, that I was beginning to mature as an adult, because I take more time to think before I speak than I ever have before. When someone gets my dander up, it's so easy to lash out, and it takes much more to stop, listen to what they're saying, and respond lovingly.
There's a verse I keep in my cubicle that I've heard my mother say over and over in my life.
"I have wept through the night
for the shortness of sight
that to somebody's need made me blind,
but I never have yet
felt a twinge of regret
for being a little too kind."
I find myself tempering my words a little before they escape me. I find myself re-reading my emails time and time again before I hit send to make sure that the tone of my words is one of love and kindness. I find it more and more important, as the days go by, to convey to others the way I truly feel, and more and more, how I feel is compassionate. I look at people and see beauty. I try to place myself in others' shoes, and I try to hear what they would if someone said my words to me. I can't say that I'm successful in this, yet, but I will be.
I'd like to think that my ears are open. I'd like to think that in all the noise, the everyday circumstances, the hardships of life, I can hear the whisper of God amongst the rabble. This is a skill that I am trying to develop, daily.
As my friends and family, I'd like to ask this of you: Please keep me accountable. Please let me know when I'm not listening. Please help me as I try to become more teachable.