Monday, October 6, 2014

Listen Without Interrupting

How many times in life do we jump to conclusions before hearing the complete details?

I am guilty of doing this so many times. One of the biggest peeves my husband has with me is that I don't give him room to fully explain his thoughts before I jump in and interrupt him with my response. Most of the time my response is not appreciated and cut off with a "let me finish!"

While I pray for patience and strength to change this pattern, I've been contemplating returning to my blog and writing about life lessons I am learning.

My one desire in life is to love well. What does that mean?

In the presence of our God and Father, 
we never forget that your faith is active, 
your love is working hard, 
and your confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ is enduring.
- 1 Thessalonians 1:3

Well, the Lord has asked each of us (whom He has called) to love without ceasing. Not just in word and deed alone, but from the heart in a genuine way. This is not easy. Especially days when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or am offended by a flippant comment made by someone I barely know.

One of the ways to show love is to listen to others without interrupting. I know many people who live lives full of quick quips and fast comebacks to family members and strangers alike. Some people think they know it all and feel they don't need a person to finish a thought before they interject an opinion or statement. Being cut off in a conversation is almost never pleasant, especially if you are the one being cut off.

How do you feel when you are cut off or interrupted? Are you guilty of cutting people off mid sentence?

As a mom, I'd like to think that because I have already lived out my youthful years, that I can wisely interpret my children's situations and advise them on the many issues that arise in their lives.

WRONG.

Letting a child express themselves -uninterrupted- is the best way to help them get in touch with the real issue at hand, and by listening, show them how much you love them and want to help them. My experience is that I always hear the real heart of the matter when I just listen.

The book of Proverbs in the bible is full of wisdom. In chapter 18 it says:

Answering before listening  is both stupid and rude. (v13)

Proverbs 18 also says that our response after listening is equally important:

Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. (v21)

Learning to listen well to everyone you come in contact with is a great personal habit for each and everyone one of us to improve upon. Not only will you show Christ's love, but you will show people that you really care about them.





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