Tag Archives: listening

Wanna Be impressive?

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”(1st John 3:18)

When I first met my future husband, he swept me off my feet.

Not literally.

He did something so rare that I couldn’t get him off my mind.

Wanna know what that was?

He listened.

Yep, I know this seems awfully simple.

But listening is so rare nowadays.

When I arrived at the University of Michigan as a graduate student, I didn’t know a soul. My first couple of days there had been filled with problems with my coop room, registering for some classes, getting lost, feeling lonely, and recovering from a bad cold.

When Bruce and I first met, he didn’t launch into the usual, “here’s all the impressive stuff you need to know about me” routine.

No. Instead, he fixed me a pot of tea, asked me what I was studying, what did I get for Christmas, what kind of family did I grow up in, what was my philosophy of life.

His kindness and sincere interest in me as a person—not a potential girlfriend— impressed me.

Bruce didn’t try to wow me with his looks, his athletic ability or strength, or his smarts, or his knowledge.

There’s an old saying: “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”Sept 10 Fall River Road 077

This saying is kind of like the wonderful verse in 1st John (3:16): “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

Listening is a truly impressive way of showing God’s love. It’s an active thing, a serving thing.

The most lovely and unselfish people I know are also great listeners. They all seem to recognize that they’re in this world not to impress others with their talk, but to be representatives of Jesus Christ on earth.

And who listened better to others than Him?

Wanna be truly impressive?

Listen.

Hospitality

I think the American church has lost the skill or gift of showing hospitality. It seems years ago, we were all visiting neighbors, and providing meals and inviting new attenders of the church to come over for a get-acquainted meal.

Now, it hardly ever happens. I don’t know why, because there’s really nothing very difficult about showing hospitality.

Go ahead. Put your tech stuff away. (You won’t die!) Turn off the TV. (You can always record your favorite show.)

Hospitality can be as easy as this:

“Hey, you’re new. Wanna come on over for lunch? Naw, you don’t have to bring anything. We’re just cooking brats on the barbecue. You can? Great! Here’s our address.”

Or

“Hey, I’m so glad you moved onto our block. Wanna come on over for tea sometime? You’re free? Great! How about tomorrow?”

When your guest(s) arrives, here are some great conversation starters:

  • How did you two meet?
  • What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
  • Where all have you lived?
  • Where were you born?
  • What kind of work do you do?

I’m sure you can think of your own questions. People love to talk about themselves. And they’ll remember you for expressing an interest in them. (Just make sure that when you ask your questions you’re prepared to listen!) Who knows? You may have just begun a wonderful and rewarding friendship.

I think a lot of Christians think that ministry and serving is all about doing some great and glorious preaching, or going to Haiti, or giving humongous amounts of money, or running a soup kitchen.

But one of the grandest things we can do for God’s Kingdom is simply show an interest in others. You probably wouldn’t know it when you see people pass by. But most—maybe all of them—yearn for someone to take an interest in them.

I know. At times—such as7-20-11 010 when we move and start going to a new church— I’ve been one of those people.

“Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:13 NIV Bible)