Few things can be more frustrating than someone asking a question, then spending more time telling his or her own thoughts, or explaining the answer he or she already knows, instead of listening. If the asker is a teacher, it’s okay, even expected. But in everyday life, everyday conversation, everyday relationships, it seems condescending, insensitive, and rude.
A question should be an invitation to share and discover. Listening is difficult. It takes patience. But we learn in the patience of listening. We get to know the person. We better understand his or her perspective, so we’re better able to share what we think, ask follow-up questions, and encourage the person. And we show respect.
When we ask God questions, how patient and attentive are we? How much do we try to talk through the answer? Do we pause or do we fill space?
He certainly wants to hear what’s on our minds, but He also wants to answer our questions…in His timing and wisdom, of course.