NO ONE IS LISTENING
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Anger is everywhere in your news feed, your social feed and on the airwaves. It seems that everyone is shouting, but no one is listening.
For our own sanity, some of us have dropped out of the conversation on purpose. We can’t live healthy lives immersed in that much anger. But the biggest problem is with those on both sides of every issue who think they are in a conversation. It’s not a conversation if no one is listening. People are just taking turns expressing their outrage or opinions. How is THAT working?
A Different Approach
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”Steven Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
What if we listened? (Not just for flaws in the other person’s argument or statements we can use against them later.) What if we try listening to understand where the other person is coming from? What if we ask questions not to accuse or trap the other person, but to inquire about where they are coming from? If we give up the goal of being right or getting people to agree with us, we can pursue the goal of understanding each other.
Two Ears One Mouth
As the old adage goes, “God gave you two ears and one mouth. Use them accordingly.” What if Christians were known as people who were good listeners? Imagine if people felt heard by us? Agreement isn’t nearly as important as understanding. Pursuing understanding creates a safe connection. Trying to get people to agree with you only makes them defensive.
Sunday we will continue our series in Healthy Relationships learning to listen well. I hope you can join us. Previous messages on audio or video can be found HERE.