James 1:19 says, "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."
One of the best ways to be a good listener is to ask good questions.
I learned this once again when my family took my son to the doctor. When the nurse came into the room, she struck up a pleasant conversation and somewhere along the line mentioned that a young relative of hers had a test on a problematic kidney.
So I asked: "Did the result turn out favorably?" She replied that the problem was confirmed and her relative may end up needing a kidney transplant.
Then I commented, "I've been thinking about kids and their health problems. It seems to me that they would be troubled and confused not knowing why their body isn't working properly."
The nurse responded, "Actually my experience is it's the adults who question everything and it's the kids who are accepting." Then she went on to tell the most incredible story about her daughter, who suffered leukemia. When the oncologist first told her she was sick, the girl retorted to her doctor, "The Lord is going to heal me completely." And that's exactly what the Lord did. Three years after her diagnosis, at age 16, the girl was healed. And a saying of Pastor Tim Keller was confirmed: "God's best work is seen over the long haul."
The nurse concluded with a statement that's stayed with me: "Everybody has their Job story. And now you know mine."
All because of a few questions and an ear to listen.