Developing a discerning ear

As a minister, I hear a lot of personal stories. Some joyous, some sad, many conflicted. Lately, it seems Satan’s been working overtime, and I’ve heard an awful lot of the latter. As you try to offer wisdom, a listening ear, and pray with and for people, one of the challenges is to remember that one of the fundamental truths in life is that there are two sides to every story (at least). As Solomon said, “The first to speak in court sounds right—until the cross-examination begins,” (Proverbs 18:17). A good listener isn’t just one who knows how to hear sympathetically, but one who is willing to listen with discernment, and to more than one point of view if real healing and growth is ever to take place.


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