Have you ever heard a pithy statement that you almost overlooked when you first heard it but continues to shed insightful, convicting truth into your life as time passes?
Let me share with you a simple statement that has been revolutionizing my personal sanctification. Here it is…
“When you are talking, you are not learning.”
Pause for more than a few seconds and the let that statement sink in. Deeply. Into your personal space where so much is defined by noise coming out of your mouth instead of into your ears. There have been recent news events where political and ministry leaders are just too quick to talk and too slow to learn.
May I give you a few implications that God is still unpacking in my life:
- Ministry leaders who only know how to talk but don’t know how to listen are reduced to noisy fools.
- Counselors with a predisposed bias or a canned go-to answer to every problem will lose the privilege of people opening up about their most personal, heart-wrenching needs to which the Gospel so powerfully speaks.
- Parents who only desire to hold maintenance-mode, surface conversation will lose the heart of their child that can only be secured with a thoughtful willingness to drop everything to give a listening ear.
- Christians who are too proficient in posting, blogging, sharing, tweeting, etc. will lose the precious commodity of hearing directly from the Lord through His Word, Spirit, and other heavenly commissioned believers.
As I prepare to head to the first night of a conference this evening in California, the Spiritual Leadership Conference 2016, here is the hymn on my heart: (By the way, a conference where I have the ultimate privilege of not speaking but listening…and therefore learning!)
Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.
Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow’r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.
Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.
Do you see that ultimately is not just about our learning but about what others are learning through God’s word in us. See-the culmination of learning is teaching. (Those who speak learn, but that occurs before and in preparation to speak.) Much of that teaching should be less voluminous and more modeled after the very Spirit of God.
Jn. 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
Let me blunt. The only way for the earth to be filled with God’s glory is for me…and you to be silent, and therefore all the world to learn of God’s glory through God’s Word!