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Briefing: How important is listening? There is a saying that God values listening more than speaking, that is why He gave us two ears and one mouth so we can do twice as much listening as talking.

Dispatch (Assignment): Find a quiet place with no distractions, turn off all your devices, be still, and listen for ten minutes.

On the Street: For police investigators, asking good questions is important but not as important as listening to the answers.

When interviewing someone it is important to dig deep and ask lots of good questions. Just as a wise man can say something foolish, a fool can sometimes say something wise.

Something else to keep in mind is not just having good listening skills, but knowing who and what to listen to.

Proverbs 1:8 (HCSB), “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching.”

Proverbs 1:20 (HCSB), “Wisdom calls out in the street; she raises her voice in the public squares.”

Proverbs 5:1-2 (NKJV), “My son, pay attention to my wisdom; lend your ear to my understanding, that you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge.”

Proverbs 20:18 (NKJV), “Plans are established by counsel; by wise counsel wage war.”

Proverbs 23:12 (NKJV), “Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge.”

Proverbs 27:5-7 (NKJV), “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”

Proverbs 28:23 (NKJV), “He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.”

Proverbs 29:12 (HCSB), “If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials will be wicked.”

I have often heard one of the reasons the Roman military was so successful was because their leaders did not surround themselves with “yes men”. They knew the importance of having honest council.

Wisdom is found in listening and listening leads to wisdom.

Proverbs 8:6-11 (NIV), “Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge. Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”

Proverbs 19:16 (HCSB), “The one who keeps commands preserves himself; one who disregards his ways will die.”

Proverbs 19:20 (HCSB), “Listen to counsel and receive instruction so that you may be wise later in life.”

Proverbs has a warning for the person who does not listen.

Proverbs 19:27 (HCSB), “If you stop listening to correction, my son, you will stray from the words of knowledge.”

Proverbs 29:1 (NIV), “Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed, without remedy.”

In your relationships, if you did all of the talking and never listened, how long would those relationships last? It is the same way with our prayer life. We pray to God and ask for guidance and assistance, but we don’t wait for His answer. I’m not talking about an audible voice (although He can do anything; He’s God) but I am talking about Him speaking to us through the Holy Spirit, to our Spirit.

Investigational Resources: Mark 9:7, John 10, James 1:19

Officer Safety Principle: Do you ever slow down enough to hear God speaking to you?

from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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