10 reasons to slow down and listen in evangelism

10 reasons to slow down and listen in evangelism

by Aaron Shafovaloff

1. Restraint shows wisdom. “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.” (Proverbs 17:27)

2. Patient listening is contrary to a quick temper. "Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly." (Proverbs 14:29) “My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” (James 1:19)

3. Patient listening helps slow a conversation down to reduce unnecessary quarreling or tension. "And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil." (2 Timothy 2:24)

4. It is shameful to hastily speak. "If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame." (Proverbs 18:13)

5. You're less likely to act foolishly if you keep your cool. "A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated." (Proverbs 14:17)

6. Patience is persuasive. "With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone." (Proverbs 25:15)

7. Restraining your words means you have less to regret. "Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble." (Proverbs 21:23)

8. It's prudent to let some things slide. "The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult." (Proverbs 12:16)

9. Listening helps you ponder how to answer. "The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things." (Proverbs 15:28)

10. You can silently pray for someone, even as you are actively listening to them. "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)


6 reasons to ask curious and probative questions:

1. There is pleasure in understanding. "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion." (Proverbs 18:2)

2. It is good to draw out the purpose in a man's heart. "The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out." (Proverbs 20:5)

3. Asking questions is a natural expression of warmth and hospitality. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers." (Hebrews 13:2, Titus 1:8, 1 Timothy 3:2)

4. People are interesting. They are royal image bearers of God! "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him." (Genesis 1:27)

5. People are often more than what they pretend to be. "One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth." (Proverbs 13:7)

6. One may be grieving beneath their courteous affability. "Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief." (Proverbs 14:13)