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Listening to our Neighbors

I’m one of those people that is always quick to an answer a question.  I’ve often assumed that my answers are the ones everyone will like…call it pride if you want.  Over the years I’ve become slower and slower to answer a question that may be out there in the organization (or church.)  I’ve learned that most of my learning comes from listening first.  I’m continuing to learn that keeping my mouth shut for at least a little while, helps me articulate the right answer.  And there is the added bonus of listening being a prerequisite of love.

“Listening, as far as I m concerned, is certainly a prerequisite of love. One of the most essential ways of saying I love you is being a receptive listener Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors.”

-Fred Rogers

How great is that quote?  And as if that isn’t great enough, the Bible talks about this slow and fast things as well…

James 1:19 || “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.