It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the McFarland family that a lot of talking takes place in our home.Â I used to try to simply push all the blame off on my wife and our girls, but the reality is that I â€œtalkâ€ for a living, so I too must take some responsibility.Â One of the most common phrases uttered in our house is, â€œYou have 2 ears and only 1 mouth, so talk less and listen more.â€Â While I am usually the one saying these words, I have had them directed at me numerous times.
Recently, I have begun to feel that while that phrase is adequate, it is far from complete.Â Sure, everyoneÂ from kids to parents to politicians to church leaders needs to do a better job of listening more, but it canâ€™t stop there.Â I wonder if a piece of that saying has been lost in translation?Â I wonder if we are missing out on something more than just being quiet and listening?Â I wonder if there is more out there for us to grasp?
What if the original phrase read like this:
You have 1 mouth, 2 ears, 4 appendages and a Big Heart.Â Therefore, you should talk less, listen more, serve frequently and love greatly.
Wow, thatâ€™s kinda long and a lot harder to remember.Â Plus, it isnâ€™t exactly easy to accomplish.Â Maybe that is why we just dropped the second half; thatâ€™s more efficient, right?
While it may be more efficient, it is also less effective.Â Oh, and a tad bit selfish.
You see, talking less and listening more will make you a much better person, but if we stop there, itâ€™s pretty selfish.Â When we realize that we have been given hands and feet so that we can go and serve others, we go beyond just us; we realize that others can benefit from what we have learned.Â However, if we simply talk less, listen more, and serve others without a deeper purpose, we are really just again, being selfish.Â Sure, serving others out of our surplus is nice, but it always makes us feel good. Is everything really about us?
That is where are heart comes in to play.
You see, we are all spiritual beings; that is the way God created us.Â Inside each of us is a soul that will live on for eternity.Â A soul that is broken and is searching desperately for a way to be restored.Â The only answer for restoration is trusting in Jesus Christ.Â Jesus fixes everything, from the inside out.
So, the most important part of that whole phrase is the part about the â€œbig heart.â€Â Why is it big?Â Because it has been completely restored by Jesus Christ and is full of enough Grace to share with the world.
We should talk less, listen more, serve frequently and love greatly.
That means we have to get up and move.Â That means we must come to terms with the fact that our goal in life isnâ€™t to simply get everything we want.Â That means we have to think of others.Â That means that we must first, Trust Jesus to restore us and second, share the restoration we experienced with everyone so they can have the opportunity to experience it as well.
But that all sounds really hard, time consuming and kind of messy.Â Couldnâ€™t we find a way to be more efficient?Â Maybe we didnâ€™t lose anything in translation after all; maybe we just hid the hard stuff so we could forget about it and make things easier.
Yeah, that sounds much better.Â We just need to be quiet and listen more.Â Thatâ€™s what the church is for anyway, right?
â€œDo not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.Â Do what it says.â€ ~ James 1:22
Josh is a happily married father or 2 beautiful girls. Â His writings are sporadic, his thoughts are random, and occasionally the two collide. Â He currently serves as the Lead Pastor of First Baptist Church in Hillsboro, OH.
You can find Josh on twitter, facebook, blogspot and usually drinking coffee: