I need to listen more.

I talk allot, and sometimes (I’m coming to think) that I am in love with my own words. Or, at the very least, I think I am smarter and more insightful then other people. Ya, I said it. Ya, its not a very loving thought to have. But, It’s how I am broken.

For as long as I can remember, I have been “that guy” at church, the one with all the Bible trivia answers, the one that teaches the Sunday school class and Bible studies, the one with good things to say. People have told me on many occasions that they really got something out of what I had to say.  And I know that God has wired me to want to help people see Him and understand this gospel truth we live in. But still, most times I talk too much.

Here’s a perfect example: on Monday night,  I went to the Horse Brass here in Portland with some of the guys from Evergreen. Honestly, I wanted to impress them. So, I tried to be funny, smart, and left the evening feeling like a show off, a puffed up pampas and pithy orator. I mean seriously, who tries to interject philosophical generalizations about an awareness of individual identity at the expense of an awareness of community identity when someone is telling a story of a party they were at?!?! Seriously, I am that guy.

I don’t want to be.

I said it before, and it’s still true: I need to let go.  I need to let go of pride, of the idea that I have “great things” to say, and the idea that I don’t need people to pour and impart into me.

So I need to listen more.

I need to listen to people of faith. Some days, I wake up in a severe crises of faith. I wonder what the point of faith is, question if it really matters and really changes life. My point of view is skewed right now, I am the first to admit it. So I need to hear other people of faith, hear why Jesus and the life of discipleship really matters. I need to hear how it has changed their life, and how the life they live is different from the world. I need to hear the hope they live in.

I need to listen to God. I still believe he is my life, my reason, my hope, and that He alone can tel me who I am and why I matter. I don’t need to expound scripture, or speak some new words of brilliance. I need to listen, and honestly respond in turn only when the silence and the Word has filled me.

I need to listen to life. I want to be an artist. I want to write poetry, stories, and prose that peers into life and helps me (and maybe others) see it for what it is. To have something worth saying, something that’s not just my ideas pontificated for my own love of my voice, I need to listen to the world around me, current events, the normal things in the everyday of life. I need to listen to people in this life we all share. I need the point of views of others so I can think deeply on what they say and learn from them.

So, step one: I need to stop talking, stop being so wrapped up in my own head and my own POV. Step two: learn to listen.

Pray for me.