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Have you ever noticed that our culture is full of people craving to tell you about themselves and their stories, but not full of people listening?
We interrupt each other.
We talk over someone else so we can share our own story.
And then we fill our social media with our “Stories”.
We listen to others with our own agendas—not really there to understand them more deeply, or ask questions to genuinely know them better, or allow ourselves to be changed and refined by another human being.
I know I’m super guilty of this and I’m wagering most of you are too. Why? It’s become the norm to talk at each other, have social media arguments while avoiding direct communication, and generally be our own gods on our own soapboxes.
Yeah, I went there.
Here’s an experiment: Go start a conversation right now with someone and observe yourself. How hard is it for you to listen well? How hard is it to ask them questions instead of jump to share your own opinions?
“Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry…”
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote this around 50 A.D. in his letter to a wide audience. How relevant does this feel for our culture?!
Brothers and sisters this is one of the easiest (and hardest) ways we can minister to our world right now. Listeners who have the Holy Spirit are dearly needed!
I have a simple white shirt that says “hate won’t live here” over the heart. And every day that I decide to put that on, I also decide that I want what it says to be true of me that day.
What if all Christians committed to being a listener every morning?
What if we listened like Jesus listened?
And asked amazing questions like Jesus asked?
Questions that respond to the heart cries of those speaking to us.
What if we gave up our own conversation topics and agendas in preference of those of others?
I believe whole-heartedly we would see more people eager to know Jesus because they’d encounter His listening ears and thoughtful responses through us.
That excites me. Does it excite you?
I challenge us all to decide to be quick to listen, slooooooooooooooow to speak, and (definitely!) slooooooooooooooow to become angry.
And let’s see what happens!