I, by my nature, am not a good listener. So over the last few years I’ve had to work at being a better listener. I would say I’m that. Better. Certainly not great. Not good. However I, by God’s grace, have a teachable spirit that isn’t content with mere mediocrity in any area of my life, especially in an area that will help me excel in many areas, and in the midst of that I’ve seen myself grow as a listener. This morning I headed over to theresurgence.com for my morning blog read and I loved a short post entitled Listening to the Lost. It was a good reminder for me and served as another piece of encouragement for me as I journey forward in my listening abilities. Here are two portions I wanted to share with you, but go read the WHOLE post too!
One of the most effective ways to know our “target audience” was to ask them questions…something that we really aren’t good at in the West. Instead, Christians assume a defensive posture, making conversations doctrinal battles or apologetic arguments. Ethnographic research forces us to take a more humble path, the path of learning from those we hope “to reach.”
By asking questions from concern and genuine interest, we will travel much further and faster in our relationships. But first, we have to be convinced that we have something to learn from others, especially from those who don’t believe as we do. Our biblical anthropology–all men are created in God’s image–should convince us of that, but only the Spirit of God can convict us of subtle self-righteousness in viewing non-Christians as projects to complete, not persons to love.
Francis Schaeffer once said something to the effect of: “Give me an hour with an unbeliever and I will listen for the first 55 minutes and then in the last five minutes I will have something to say.”
Practically, how can you step forward in journey of listening? What has God taught you in respects to listening? Do you have any insights you can share with the 5 readers of zACHhARROD.com land? 😉 Thanks for stopping by! Have a great Tuesday!