Listening…..

My mother and I were reminiscing yesterday about church services that we have been blessed to be in. I told her of this young man in our church who is doing really well after being diagnosed with cancer. While talking, I told her that the Lord had moved mightily for this man, and was using him as a testimony of God’s grace. She made mention of a message my parents had heard preached thirty years ago. It was titled, “You didn’t hear what you thought you heard.”

Since yesterday, I have thought about this. Most of our problems are self-inflicted. We lose our cool when things don’t go the way that we think it should. Our lack of patience makes us act impulsively. Instead of taking a wait and see approach, we immediately rush in to correct the issue. The list of incorrect steps that we take to any given situation grows larger every day. Arguments are generally started because of something we thought we heard. A raised voice is as harmful as a raised hand.

When I was in the military, we soldiers were often admonished to listen actively. Most people listen to respond (I am guilty of this) but few listen to understand. As people speak about issues that are dear to them, we shake our head and wait for our turn to interject our opinion. What should take place is we listen and understand why this issue is dear to our friends. We should empathize and sympathize with our friends and family.

People constantly shout about wanting to be respected. Actively listening and being a shoulder for someone to lean on, is a great way to show that you respect someone. Listening is one way to show that you care. In life, not every thing requires an opinion, nor does it require an reaction. Sometimes being a person’s anchor point is the greatest service that we can provide.

I am going to shut this down for now. You guys take care and I will catch up with you a little later.

Freeman out!  

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