What Is “Conversation”?

NASV James 1:19 “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”

We are studying James in our weekly Journey Group, and this is what we talked and learned about last night. The “human condition” is talking, wanting to be heard above everyone else, but not just listening. I am guilty of this, though I honestly do try to listen.

Being a stay-at-home, home-educating mom of 4, I don’t get to hear the voices of adults often. I also don’t get to talk with adults about personal things. Even when I am with other adults, I am often the “listener”. I confess, I’m not the best listener, sometimes I am thinking about what I want to say next, trying to find that break in the “conversation” so I can share my own thoughts. But, you know what? Most of the time, that break, it never comes. Once whoever is done talking, they move on to someone else to talk to or another more pressing activity, and I never get to talk. I just get to listen.

Sometimes I get rude, and I interrupt, so I can share my own thoughts before I forget them. But, 75% of the time, even my interruptions are not heard, or that ends the “conversation”.

It becomes apparent to me, I am not valued as more than a type of “soundboard”. The more crowded the room, the more lonely I get. So much listening to do, so little being heard.

To be fair, there have been times when I have done that to others, because then I feel like I am actually being heard. But, I’m not really heard, and then I feel guilty, like I said too much and I maybe missed something important.

I guess that’s why I often prefer interacting with people over the internet. There is an actual conversation. Well, sometimes. There are times it is still very apparent that the person sending me the message doesn’t want to talk to me, they just want to get their message across to me, whether it’s to pray for them, buy something from them, or take their misdirected advice that doesn’t really fit me or my situation. They said their piece, and they move on without reading mine, or replying to it.

I am grateful that God listens.