There were so many things I feel like I learned growing up in church. From going to Sunday school to learn about Moses, Noah and King David to being in Royal Rangers (Christian Boy Scouts) and memorizing my first CHAPTER of the Bible (Psalms 23) that I have needed to stand on even to this day in my life when trouble hits my life. I can remember at each stage of life the constant reminder that it was extremely important to share my faith with as many people as possible. That I could be the key to introducing someone to Jesus and having their lives changed forever! I know the reason why I decided to go into full time ministry was because of the great men and women of God who have been in my life and helped me become the person I am today.
One thing I think I missed growing up was something even more important than sharing my faith. I know that sounds like a terrible statement when the primary reason we are on this earth is to help people who don’t know Jesus be introduced to him, but it is something that goes right along with that principle. It is the overwhelming power of LISTENING.
As Christians we are taught that the MOST important thing in our religious life is sharing our faith. The issue is that unless people feel heard they will probably not REALLY hear what you are trying to say to them. You can feel like you are doing your “Christian duty” and wondering why the person you are trying to talk to is so gripped by the devil and not listening to what you are saying. (I say that humorously, but you get the point)
Listening to people is actually meeting a need. Every person has a desire to feel like they are heard no matter if it is in a relationship, a family or work environment. We want to know that our feelings are being considered.
Please always remember that listening to someone, who may not believe the same things you do, is not justifying what they may be doing that is wrong or destructive to them. Actually, they may not think what they are doing is wrong even if it doesn’t line up with the Bible but when you intentionally listen to them you are showing that you care. Listening opens doors that eloquent religious speech can never access.
Today, think about all the people you are in relationship with and if they would consider you someone who cares about them. Not just the family or people you like but everyone. Now think about the people that God will put in your path today and not about how you are going to SHARE Jesus but how you are going to listen to them and then share answers to their need. This is what Jesus did and we need to follow His example in life.
Have a great week and praying that you develop your listening skills as much as your ability to share your testimony. They are both very important and must work in unison if we are to be truly and fully like Christ to the people we encounter in life!
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