Bonhoeffer on Listening as a Holy Act


Christians, especially ministers, so often think that they must always contribute something when they are in company odd others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a gadget service than speaking.

Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But [the one] who can no longer listen to his brother [or sister] will soon be no longer listening to God either…. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (New York : Harper and Broadway., 1954), pp. 97-98.

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