Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Nine Arts.......Listening


OK, so you have noticed.
You have prayed.
You are doing FABULOUS!!!!!!

This is the hard one for a lot of people.  When you are having a conversation with someone, are you REALLY listening?  I know that we have to make a conscious effort to listen.  Maybe we need to make eye contact. Maybe turn off the computer, the iPad, the television or even your cell phone! 

If I were to ask your friends, would they say that you were a good listener?  It really makes you stop and think.  I know it did for me.  I have to make sure that I don't say "Yeah" to everything that Kaleb has to say because he will take it and run with it and the next thing I know, I have agreed to purchase something totally our of the budget.  On the other hand if someone is talking to me and sharing their heart and I am not listening, then I have totally missed the boat!  That is NOT where I want to be and for sure I will not be a good listener. 

The study posed this question.
When others are talking to me....
I find myself finishing their sentences
I give my opinions before hearing them out.
I get restless and impatient
I lose track of what is being said
I mentally rehearse what I'm going to say next.
I take control of the conversation
I interrupt with frequent comments or questions
I try to diagnose and help them fix their problems
I worry about what I'm going to say next
I answer before gaining real understanding.

OH MY GOODNESS!!!  That one really hit home.  If I'm standing in the grocery line and my checker starts talking to me, am I REALLY listening?  Yes, this requires you to FOCUS!!!!  Hear what she/he has to say. You can learn a lot!  If you are talking with a friend or family member, what do you do?  I am a FIXER!!!!  I want to fix everything.  GUESS WHAT????  It is not up to me to fix it or them.  I am to LISTEN!!!!  Do you lose track of what is being said because you left the conversation 5 minutes ago and then they ask you what you think....OH NO!!!! 

So what in the world does this have to do with sharing your faith?  EVERYTHING!!!  LISTENING to people talk tells you about them.  From the study it states.... " It requires you to prove, explore, reflect back what you've been hearing to ensure that you've truly understood what's been revealed to you.  It seeks to discover people's stories, to learn what interests them, and ultimately to discover where God is at work in their lives."  It takes the focus off of you and me and puts it on them.  They are comfortable talking to you because you listen!  As they are sharing with you, ask them questions. Simple questions that they can share with you.  Remember the lady that I was telling you about at the grocery store.  I talked with her and remembered what she told me.  That gives me the open door to talk to her when I am in her line.   

James 1:19-20 (NIV)- 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.

There is another very neat idea that they shared in the study that you can use.  Just to make sure that you are truly LISTENING is to try and use some of these statements.
So, if I'm hearing you right.....
So the really big thing for you is....
You seem to be saying....
I think I hear you saying....
It sounds like.....
MAKE SURE YOU LISTEN!!!!  You can learn so much!!!!!!!!

So, we have notice.  We have prayed.  We are listening.  How are you doing with this?  SHARE!!!!!!

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