I’m Not Listening

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Let’s have a talk about communication. I write. I speak. I live and breath. I am constantly communicating something. And you are too. The question is, do you want anyone to listen? What about that burning topic you’re so passionate about and you’re dying for people to just “get it”?
I’ve read blogs and status updates. I’ve listened to sermons and political speeches. So many opinions. So many truths. So much not getting heard. I just want to stand up shout, “I’m never going to listen to a thing you say when you talk to me like that!”
Examples: “Stop killing yourself with that awful processed junk some people call ‘food’!” “I’m not allowing my children to be brainwashed in this public school system!!” “Who here voted for that idiot anyway?!”
These are not direct quotes, but sadly, they’re pretty close. I just want to put my fingers in my ears and say, “Lalalalala!!!” Don’t you? Somewhere in all 3 of these statements, there may be nuggets of something good that might actually need to be heard or even adhered to. However, unless the listener already agrees with you, you’re getting completely shut out.
Here’s the problem: when we find ourselves taking the high road, we better make sure it’s not on a high horse. In other words, it’s great to have found something good to do in our lives. But if we want people to follow our lead, we’ve got to lose the tone of judgment, fear, and meanness. Communicate in a way that even you’re biggest critic will listen.
Colossians 4:6 (NIV) says it best: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Note, it doesn’t say to sugar coat it. It says to “season” your words in a way that makes it palatable. This isn’t easy, especially when you have strong emotions wrapped up in it. But it is possible. And it is necessary if you want to be truly heard.
I pray I have successfully done that here.

Image courtesy of stockimages/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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