Learning to Listen

The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them.  Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them.  It is God's love for us that He not only gives us His Word but also lends us His ear.  So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him.  Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render.  They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, p. 97