Four To One

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Listen while you read: "The Beautiful Garden Of Prayer"1 (Lyrics)

Have you ever wondered why God created us with two ears and two eyes but only one mouth? Do you think it could be that we should spend four times as much listening and observing as talking?

When I told a member of the nursing staff where I live that I was considering doing a devotional on this topic, she immediately responded, "I really want that reminder. It seems that often I am talking and the other person has stopped listening."

I found her response very interesting, since she is considered very emphatic and skilled at soliciting meaningful responses to her questions. Perhaps that is because she is sensitive to the fact that it is more important to spend time in the four neglected avenues of communication rather than the one that we easily utilize.

It seems to be human nature for us to assume that what we know is best. But what we say is only of value if it is helpful to, and understood by, the person to whom we are speaking.

Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

It is challenging to balance the words that we speak, but Proverbs is full of great admonitions:

Proverbs 12:18 – Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (NIV)

Proverbs 15:4 – The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. (NIV)

Proverbs 6:16-19 – There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (NIV)

One additional thought on positive communication: Even before words are spoken, a baby communicates with a smile. Virtually without exception, we respond positively to a smile.

It is said that it takes 17 to 26 muscles to smile but 43 to 62 to frown. God has designed us to communicate more easily with a smile than a frown!

Prayer: God, help us to use our two ears and two eyes to listen and observe, and to use our single tongue wisely. May we also spend more time smiling and less time frowning. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Vincent.

    Great reminder, God bless you!

    Always a good reminder, Vincent.

    Thanks, Vincent, a good reminder!

    Amen to your prayer. I fall short of this a lot.

    Vincent – I NEEDED this today. Thank you and God Bless you.

    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this devotional reminder with us. Blessings.

    Good morning Vincent, Thank you for your devotional today; it gives us all pause for thought on how we use our tongues and our smiles vs. the frowns.

    I was reminded of the verse “a wise old owl sat in an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke. The less he spoke, the more he heard. Why can’t we all be like that bird?” Thanks for your writing.

    My Mom was a postmaster for 21 years. It was a position which allowed her to have knowledge, personal knowledge about our neighbours and was very careful not to repeat gossip. She once told me that gossip was like a letter – once you mailed it (spoke it) you could not take it back.

    I had a funny feeling from the beginning this was from you and then read nursing home, I chuckled to myself. Another good one my friend and oh so true.
    Hope you are doing well and continue to be a light for those in need of your joy, peace and love of Jesus!!!
    God bless.

    Hi Vincent,
    Thank you for another great devotional. Yes, it is important that that we carefully observe and listen before we put our tongue in motion. What you said about “smiles” is so true. I had some note paper printed one time and the quotation at the bottom of the page was, “Smiles are rays of sunshine”. A smile truly warms the heart.
    God’s blessings to you.

    Mr. Walter
    Thank you so much for your very timely, very relevant devotion today. We are struggling with a hateful coalition posting lies and hateful statements about us and the amazing work done here in the local media and social media. So many times I am tempted to write back and defend my staff, volunteers and clients. That would be “the feet quick to rush into evil”. I have forwarded this to my staff and volunteers, hoping they will find comfort in your words and the words of our Father.
    Thank you again. I look forward to your next submission.

    Dear Vince,
    Just wanted you to know how much of a blessing you are to me through the devotional thoughts you submit to The PresbyCan Daily Devotionals. I felt it necessary to let you know how much I enjoy them and learn something toward growing my faith.
    The way you write, and the scripture references you add, bring new light to every message. Thank you for blessing me each time with your brief, yet profound thoughts.
    You are in my prayers!

    I enjoy reading your devotionals and, because of your reference to where you live, assume you are at retirement age.

    Well done. May God continue to Bless us all.

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