Proverbs 18:2 ESV A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
We probably all know an interrupter. You know, the person who interrupts a sentence before you can even finish your thought. A good conversation is like a game of tennis. You take turns. In tennis you can’t hit the ball until it is hit to you by the other person, otherwise you are just swinging your racket in the air. Conversation is the same way.
Listening is so important to God that not only does he talk about how He listens to us but He tells us how important it is for us to listen to others. He must have known that He could not just tell us to listen, however He needed to tell us how to listen.
Proverbs 10:19 ESV When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
When I had my corporate job, a common saying was “Little is much.” What that means is you can say a lot in just a few words. Someone who goes on and on, will often not only repeat themselves but may find themselves saying things that don’t really need to be said. Little can be much! Choose your words wisely when you speak. Not everything we think needs to be said out loud.
Philippians 2:4 ESV Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
God says, when we are in a conversation we should be interested in what the other person is saying to us. Sometimes we can’t wait for the other person to quit speaking because we want to say something that is not about them but something about us instead.
Proverbs 18:13 ESV If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
Maybe we interrupt because we think we know what the other person is trying to say and they are not saying it fast enough so we interrupt to move the conversation along. God says when we do this is, it is our folly and shame. In other words, we just might be wrong with our assumptions of where the conversation is going.
When someone cuts you off, it may not be that they are just rude. Here are a few other reasons why someone may be an interrupter: It’s what they learned in childhood, It’s a cultural thing (family, relationships, geography), It’s a narcissistic thing, It’s an insecurity thing, It’s an excitement thing, It’s a power play, It’s a lack of awareness
If you have an interrupter in your life, at home or work, you have a couple of options; you can avoid conversations with this person (Sometimes not possible, and definitely not good for a relationship), you can allow it to continue or you can address it in a loving graceful way.
Try a conversation like this. “Martha can we just stop for a second? I’ve noticed that I haven’t been able to finish my last three sentences. I’m feeling very frustrated right now. Can I please just take a moment to finish what I want to tell you?”
God always lets us finish our sentences because He love us. He has given us the instructions on how to be a good listener. We should all try to follow both His example and His instructions. If you are a Christian and interrupter, ask God to help you and ask God to send other brothers/sisters in Christ to point it out to you with grace and love.
If you are someone who is ALWAYS interrupted by others, evaluate your communication skills. If you are the common denominator, it may be that your skills need improving. Ask someone that you trust to talk with you about what you can change in your communication style.
Conversation back and forth is good. Conversation one way is bad. If it’s your fault stop it. If it’s someone else’s fault it is ok to ask them to stop it. We live in a rushed world where we want to get from one place to another, move from one project to the next and yes, finish a conversation to move on to the next one. I want you to know that what you have to say is important. God wants to hear you and He is never too busy to stop and listen. God is anxiously awaiting for you to make time to talk with Him and you can take all the time you need and want. I challenge you to find time to talk to him today. PS If someone has not told you today, you are beautiful, you are smart and you are loved.