“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” (James 1:19, ESV)
Pastor Dave Ferguson shares a simple acronym that describes a practical way to B.L.E.S.S. our neighbors.
- B – Begin with prayer
- L – Listen
- E – Eat together
- S – Serve
- S – Share stories
I spoke last time about “Begin with Prayer.” Today, I want to address the second step, and that is to listen.
Listening is an important part of every believer’s life. We start with listening to God. We seek him in his Word to have him speak into our lives. But we don’t stop there.
We also take the time to listen to others. One of the most loving things we can do is listen. There are few things to make other people feel more cared for than when someone takes the time to hear what they have to say. Think about a time when you had someone genuinely listen to you without any agenda. How did that make you feel?
To listen to others, we must:
- Stop talking. Often when we are in conversation with another person, we are thinking more about what we will say in response to the other person than anything else. Consider just letting the other person talk.
- Ask questions. Questions spark conversation. And questions communicate genuine concern. I have learned it is more important to ask the right questions than it is to have the right answers.
- Don’t presume. We often make assumptions and think we know what a person will say before they even say it.
- Seek understanding. Clarify that you understand what the other person is saying. Make sure that what they wanted to say to you is what you heard them say.
I believe this world would be a much better place if we spent more time listening to each other and less time striving to make our point known. By listening, we discover great opportunities for ministry that we would never recognize otherwise.