James 1:21 tells us to listen, and in listening we will hear what is been spoken, and when we listen to hear what is spoken, we will know how to reply.
Acts 4:12-23 gives us the perfect example of how to listen before responding. The Scriptures read as follows:
12 There is no one else who can rescue us, and there is no other name under heaven given to any human by whom we may be rescued.
13 Now the leaders were surprised and confused. They looked at Peter and John and realized they were typical peasants—uneducated, utterly ordinary fellows—with extraordinary confidence.
The leaders recognized them as companions of Jesus, 14 then they turned their attention to the third man standing beside them—recently lame, now standing tall and healthy. What could they say in response to all this?
15 Because they were at a loss about what to do, they excused the prisoners so the council could deliberate in private.
Jewish Leaders: 16 What do we do with these fellows? Anyone who lives in Jerusalem will know an unexplainable sign has been performed through these two preachers. We can’t deny their story. 17 The best we can do is try to keep it from spreading. So let’s warn them to stop speaking to anybody in this name.
18 The leaders brought the prisoners back in and prohibited them from doing any more speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus. 19 Peter and John listened quietly and then replied,
Peter and John: You are the judges here, so we’ll leave it up to you to judge whether it is right in the sight of God to obey your commands or God’s. 20 But one thing we can tell you: we cannot possibly restrain ourselves from speaking about what we have seen and heard with our own eyes and ears.
21-22 The council threatened them again, but finally let them go because public opinion strongly supported Peter and John and this man who had received this miraculous sign. He was over 40 years old, so his situation was known to many people, and they couldn’t help but glorify God for his healing.
23 Peter and John, upon their release, went right to their friends and told the story—including the warning from the council (The Voice Bible).
The Voice (VOICE)
The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved