Why Talking Can Be Better Than Listening

This is Aidan. 

Mr. Mischief

Aidan struggles greatly in the area of patience.  When he does [generally every few hours], I find myself doing the thing I swore I would never do [years ago when I was young and foolish].  I channel my mother.  Chiding him gently, I break into a little song from my own childhood about patience. 

 “Have patience, have patience.  Don’t be in such a hurry.  When you get impatient, you only start to worry.  Remember, remember, that God is patient too, and think of all times that others have to wait for you.” 

The result of this “musical correction”?  To this moment, whenever I utter the phrase “Have patience, Son“, Aidan [bless his tiny heart] breaks into a song-like chant: “Hah peh-it, hah peh-it, hah peh-it” [have patience].  Ironically, I no longer sing him the song but it’s almost as if he needs to tell himself to patiently keep a lid on whatever it was that he was about to start screaming over.  I find myself smothering a laugh whenever he does this because it’s so cute.  However, cutie-cute factor aside, as I contemplated this behavior last week, I realized that in his own little way, Aid was preaching to himself.  “Have patience, have patience!”  — which reminded me of a great quote: see below —

This little anecdote has become a lovely reminder for me.  When there is something that I’m both supposed to do, and struggling against … when I’m tired … when I’m angry … when I’m hurting … do I listen to myself, or do I preach to myself? 

When the “have patience” moments come, I pray I will choose to remind myself of all that I know to be true.  [Philippians 4:8] 

Will you?

“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says,: “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, [Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1965] p. 20).

4 responses to “Why Talking Can Be Better Than Listening

  1. Hey! Thanks for posting this! So very true! Love you guys <3

  2. Thanks “Ah Mah” :)

  3. I often find myself singing that song too. Probably just a crazy person thing…

  4. Ted, I think you’re probably right. 😉

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