Have you ever noticed how hard it is to listen? When someone else is talking, it’s common to think about what you want to say next.
I recently had an opportunity to sit down at a coffee shop with a good friend who was dealing with a very difficult situation. His reason for coming to me was that he needed encouragement. As he began to share his story with me, I began formulating my response.
Was I really listening? Did I really care what he was telling me? Was I simply trying to fix him?
Human nature tends to be quick to speak and slow to listen. It’s a great way to make a point, but a lousy way to make a difference. Scripture teaches us in James 1:19,
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”
The next time you find yourself in a conversation, be a quick listener. Look at the person speaking and give them your full attention. Let them finish their thought before you dive in with yours. You may not get to say everything you wanted to say, but you will have said the most important thing of all: you are worth listening to.
Encouraging someone is not always about the words you say, it’s about the way you made them feel. Encourage someone today without words, just listen.