Daily Devotional – Apr 20, 2024

Daily Devotional – Apr 20, 2024
April 12, 2024 Lighthouse Network

Proverbs 12:15

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 18:13

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.

Proverbs 18:2

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 17:28

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.


Mr. Roger’s Secret

The above verses are a sample of those that focus on listening in the book of Proverbs. In a recent article, a Christian therapist wrote about how Fred Rogers, aka “Mr. Rogers,” had recently impacted her life. She wrote: I’m not good at long plane rides! On a recent cross-country trip, I reviewed the limited movies offered and watched some spy movies. I still had three and half more hours! So, I started watching the movie about Mr. Rogers while working on something else.

My kids watched Mr. Rogers so I could cook dinner after work. Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister whose calling was to create a “holy space” for the TV studio and the children watching on the other side.

His show was one of acceptance and inclusion. His belief was that everyone has inherent value. He believed the most important thing about communication is listening…and often silence. He listened with compassion to the child whose stuffed dog lost its ear in the wash. He listened to the young boy with a spinal halo and confined to a wheelchair. He listened to the child who was angry when the kids at school were mean to him because he was different.

Fred Rogers dealt with difficult topics and modeled acceptance and inclusion when the world did not. The simple gesture of taking off his shoes to cool off his feet along with one of the African-American cast members was his way of addressing the conflict about white people excluding black people from public swimming pools. He talked honestly about things like death and war in a way that still made children feel safe and loved.

Fred Rogers sang, “It’s you I like, every part of you.” What is essential to life is invisible to the eye. This is the invisible gift of love.

The article reminded me that in our effort to “help” others we often forget one of the most powerful tools God has given us: the power of listening with acceptance. At times we may be so anxious to correct a wrong, explain a position, or get something accomplished that we neglect this form of love. The risk is not only that we will alienate the one we spare trying to influence, but that we communicate that positions, beliefs, and tasks are more important than the person themself.

Isn’t it interesting that the Book of Proverbs, which is largely written by one of the wisest men in the world, has so much to say about listening? Perhaps that is because listening is so closely tied to loving God, followed by loving others as ourselves. These are the great commandments. Love is spelled L-I-S-T-E-N.


Questions to Consider

  1. In what specific, small and simple ways can I show respect today for my family, co-workers, and those who serve me?


The song “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love” was a popular anthem of the 1970s “Jesus Movement.” The second verse speaks of a commitment to “guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride.” Read it through prayerfully as a personal declaration to follow Christ by loving others. Then pray for those people and situations you have identified above.

We will work with each other,
we will work side by side;
We will work with each other,
we will work side by side;
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity
and save each man’s pride.
And they’ll know we are Christians
by our love, by our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians
by our love.

Rev. James R. Needham, PhD, MDiv

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