Stop and Listen

This quote was in my daily devotional reading, and it certainly rings true. I wish I had come across it last month, when our theme was “challenging times.”

“Do we not sometimes feel, in trial or perplexity, that others might help us if they would only stop and listen? But they will not, and in their constant hurry we know it is little use to speak. Let us note the lesson for ourselves, and give what we ask, — leisure to hear, attentive, concentrated, not divided, –calm, patient consideration. It may be our busy work, as we think, for the Master, which so overcrowds our lives that we have not time for this ‘standing still.’ Sad eyes meet ours, but we cannot stay to read their story. Some look to us for help in battles which we fought long ago, but we cannot turn aside to see how it fares with them in the strife, or to whisper the secret of victory. But He would have said, even though some plans of our own for His service were put aside, ‘Ye have done it unto Me.'”

H. Bowman

the voices we carry by j.s. park–Book Review

Do you hear voices?  Don’t worry, according to J. S. Park, hospital chaplain, blogger and teaching pastor, this is perfectly normal.  We all have both external and internal voices that are constantly speaking to us, and they have unimaginable power.

The four internal voices are valuations.  They rate others and ourselves and confer moral judgements.  Exalting voices lead to pride and self-justification (when applied to ourselves) or people pleasing (when applied to others).  Condemning voices can cause self-doubt and insecurity (with ourselves) or judgement and resentment (of others).

The external voices are precipitated by events and situations outside of ourselves, things we can’t control.  They are guilt (what I did), family dynamics (what I grew up with);  trauma (what was done to me) and grief (what I lost).

We can’t eliminate these voices, and they are not all bad.  The challenge, according to Park, is to develop our own strong, internal voice composed of our non-negotiables and values.  This gives us a reference point, and a way to evaluate all the other voices that come swooping in to confuse and distract.  Park quotes a pastor friend who puts it like this:

“God made you the way He made you because He wanted to say something through you that He can’t through anyone else.”

In other words, finding your voice means finding the genuine you along with the story you want to tell, and then telling it well.  It is the message and hope you want to speak into the world.

Park relies upon stories from his experience as a chaplain and his own life to illustrate and illuminate his points.  It requires some understanding of psychology and a self-reflective mind bent to appreciate fully.

VERDICT:  FOUR STARS.  Not everyone will like it, but I did. I do wish more time had been spent on the “how” of developing an authentic personal voice.

If you would like to purchase this book, follow the link below:

For other books from Moody Publishers see:

The Counselor by A.W. Tozer–Book Review

The Other Half of Church by Jim Wilder & Michel Hendricks–Book Review

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.