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Hear the heart

Hear the heart behind people's words.

Something to read

Should a multitude of words go unanswered, and should one full of talk be vindicated? Should your babble put others to silence, and when you mock, shall no one shame you?

- Job 11:2-3.

Something to think about

Job, the one who is suffering, has poured out his heart. He has given voice to his pain. He has spoken of his experience of God.

And still his friends are not able to truly listen. They cannot face the reality that such unjust suffering exists in the world. They want to silence such talk, they want to avoid reality, because it challenges their comfortable view of the world and of God.

Job has become a marginal figure. He has no wealth or status any more. He is an object of charity. But in not listening to him and his experience of God his friends are shown to be trying to silence God himself.

Something to do

Be open today to hear God’s voice through people you do not expect to hear it from. Listen to people’s experience of life as you go through the day. At the end of the day take some moments to consider what you have heard.

Something to pray

Forgive me, Lord,

for rushing through my days without taking time to listen.

Teach me to hear the heart behind people’s words,

and to discern your still, small voice.


Peter McDowell is a lecturer in Missiology with Practical Theology at Belfast Bible College. Previously he has been a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and worked in Nepal.