Read: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)
Reflect: The biggest takeaway for me this weekend is to love the person in front of me this week. I have been very intentional recently about being present to listen to the people I am with, because frankly, I can sometimes be really bad at it. It really struck me when this week’s message asked us to listen to people because they are going to tell us what they need. In a conversation, there are always fluid dynamics happening. There are the words the other person is actually saying, and the reason they are saying it.
Due to my role in business, I am often the person talking, instructing others, encouraging people, and giving wisdom to make right choices. And because of that I’m often listening for things I need to respond to, decide about, or choose to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to. This week before I do any of that I am going to be sure and spend time actively listening to spoken, and unspoken needs of my co-workers, family, and friends.
As I have continued to dig through the Bible to familiarize myself with what God’s word calls us to do for one another, it has become very clear that part of loving others is listening to them intentionally. Sometimes adversity is happening underneath the surface of our day-by-day conversations. With God’s grace by my side, maybe I TOO can become a “World-Class” listener. Jesus, help me as I pursue this skill.
Respond: Pause for a moment this week and listen for who the Holy Spirit is asking you to listen to better. Make it a point to actively listen to this person, or these people, this coming week.
Pray: Father, open up my ears and my heart to the needs of the people I am in front of this week. Help me to be compassionate, and responsive to the needs they have. Amen