What did you say?

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I once took a public communications class through IBM. A couple of the things I learned there have stuck with me throughout the years.

The first is that while hearing is a biological function of our bodies, listening is a learned skill.

The other thing I learned is that there are different listening levels… 

Level 4: Not listening. Totally disinterested.

Level 3: Barely listening. Only showing interest when keywords/phrases are recognized.

Level 2: Listening incrementally. More like waiting until it’s our turn to speak.

Level 1: Actively listening. Totally in tune with what’s being communicated.

Giving verbal and non-verbal cues to the communicator that listening is active.

 

With those two nuggets squarely lodged in my head, I have come to this conclusion…

People want to be heard. I mean, why else would listening levels and bodily functions even matter?

People want to be heard.

Even those that don’t necessarily like to talk a lot; they at least want to know that someone is listening to them when they do choose to speak.

However, the world is such a noisy place that even the loudest of the loud have a hard time being heard over the technological information din.

Somewhere along the line, all of what was once background noise advanced to the forefront and as a result we have become terrible listeners.

Back in the not so distant past, when things were less hectic, there was less to hear so we were able to listen better.  Nowadays, we have to be so adept at filtering out the unnecessary that we lose much of what we really need to listen to…

A simple truth…

A child’s dream…

A last request…

Simply Put…

One of the things that believer’s in Jesus Christ should be doing is looking for opportunities to share the story of Jesus. The issue is that we are so busy trying to hear opportunity knock that we miss listening to what the person is saying

“I need a friend.”

“I have no food.”

“I’m empty and broken.”

If we truly want to be successful in bringing others into a relationship with Christ, then we have to relearn how to listen.

Jesus was a great listener. That’s one of the things that made Him so #Craveable. When He listened He not only heard the physical need, but He heard the need behind the need (HIM). He listened for needs and met them.

We have got to do better. 

Jesus said that we can and should do better. (Matthew 17:20)

So, let’s start here…

The next time someone comes to speak to us. Let’s stop whatever it is that we’re doing, and pay attention. Let’s actively listen to their heart. Let’s try to meet their physical need before we try to meet their spiritual need.

Let’s slow down, just for a moment, and really listen…let’s follow the Leader…

Do you hear me? Are you listening?

Press In…

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Say What?

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I am a talker…I always have been. I love deep conversations and silly asides. I guess I really just love words. As I grow older, I realize more and more the impact our words have on others.

Our words have meaning.

Our words hold influence.

Our words are powerful.

There are people in our lives that hold fast to the things we say…the good things and the bad. Our friends, our spouses, our kids, our neighbors, our co-workers…somebody thinks what we say is pretty important.

That’s a big responsibility, and whether we want that responsibility or not, it is still a responsibility that each of us bear. 

So what are we saying to each other? How are our words affecting those around us? Are we lifting others up with our words or are we tearing them down?

Simply Put…

Are you a encourager or are you a discourager?

The bible tells us that we should encourage each other to do good things and to love (Hebrews 10:24). It says that we should spend a lot of time building each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

The bible tells us just how important our words are. It tells us to be mindful of what we say. That’s what we should do.

But, we have a choice.

Every time we open our mouth, we have a choice to make. We can help or hinder. Create or wreck. Build or destroy. And, while it’s not always an easy choice to make, and it’s a choice that I struggle with all of the time, the choice is still ours.

The words we speak really can be the difference between life or death.

Let me encourage you…

Choose life. 

Press In…

 

 

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