January 18

Written by Bill Grandi on January 18th, 2023

Perfect storm. There was a movie by that name. Weather systems hit all at one time and the fishing vessel with George Clooney and others went down.

It is used to describe a situation where 2 or 3 or more events all come together at the same time. Like today’s Scripture and devotional reading.

Pastor Greg Laurie’s Everyday With Jesus spoke about listening. He brought out about the night Paul and Silas were in prison (Acts 16) and were singing in the night. It says the prisoners were listening. The Greek word for listening means “to listen very, very carefully.”

Add to that the devotion by the late David Powlison in Take Heart-Daily Devotions to Deepen Your Faith where he talked about listening. His devotion was about listening to people, instead of always talking.

Perfect storm. Different subjects. But still a perfect storm.

How many times have you listened but not really heard? There is no doubt we live in an age of talking heads. Opinions fly, but real listening is absent.

When it comes to the Bible, we love to chatter. But do we stop to listen? Have we asked God to speak to us through His Word when we sit down to read? As we read, are we also listening?

When people talk, do we listen? Or are we already thinking of what we are going to say next? G.U.I.L.T.Y. Are we incessant talkers or alert listeners? Pr.  10:19 says, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent (wise).” (ESV)  Or how about Pr. 17:28-“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (ESV)  Insert Abe Lincoln’s quote here. “It is better to keep your mouth shut and thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Some people (to quote that great ’60s philosopher Tommy James) “talk and signify and say nothing.”  (Quote from song “Talking and Signifying” circa 1970).


The Bible says repeatedly that we grow and change only by listening, not by talking. (Powlison-Jan.18)

Let’s listen more. Talk less.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Good Morning, Bill. I’ve had to work long and hard over the years to gain mastery over “listen more; talk less” while in conversation with people. I think that helped me to hear Abba’s Voice all the more. It’s something that we constantly have to work on cause old habits can come back quickly.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are so right Diane. Old habits die hard as they say. And they keep coming back up! it is hard work gaining mastery over our mouths.

  2. Wise words this morning, Bill. May we talk less and listen more to others and to the voice of God.

  3. Ryan S. says:

    Listening has definitely gotten easier as I have gotten older. When I was young and “knew it all”, sharing my opinions is what mattered most. I have recognized through maturing and some good teaching and training, that seeking first to understand requires an attentive ear. One can’t have a dialogue if my side of the conversation is always pondering my next words vs listening to the words being spoken. Sometimes…and this is what I need to practice more… no response is best.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I think maturity is one of the things which has benefited me as well Ryan. i was a young “Know it all” as well. I was a greenhorn but I wouldn’t admit it so I could learn the finer points of ministry and relationships. I sometimes wish I could go back but know I can’t. And yes, sometimes silence is best.

  4. gail says:

    Wise words indeed Bill. There is definitely a reason why there is a bridle for the mouth. I do believe spiritual maturity does help one to listen better. It is something that always has to be practiced and never gets completely mastered. I like Proverbs 21:23, Psalm 34:13-14, there are many others as well. Listen first,pray for the right words,respond do not react, and never hold back the words I am sorry when you need to repent.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Gail. Those are both great passages to use. I also like the one that says, “Keep watch over the door of my lips.” You also give good advice about listening and responding.

  5. Good post, Bill (as always!) I am guilty of not really listening, even when I appear to be listening. I am usually thinking about what I want to say, or am assuming I know what the person is going to say next so I just interrupt with my two cents. I don’t know why I do that because I really appreciate it when someone truly listens to me! You always give me food for thought, Bill. Thanks!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Pam. I admit to doing the same thing-pretending to listen but not really. Thx for coming by.