It is interesting to note that in a post that I wrote a few months back in which I encouraged the idea of seeing people… that the major sense that needs to be used in seeing people is really our ears. In last weeks post I wrote about and encouraged the idea of speaking faith conversationally. The reality is though in order to truly do that we need to really see people first. Which of course means, that what we really need to do is listen to them… and in that listening a couple things need to help us focus.
First in listening towards having faith conversations… we need to ask ourselves if we are willing to hear in such a way that our thinking may be changed. That is our thinking about people and what we think we already know. So often (if we are looking to share our faith) we are mainly just looking for an opening to go with what we have already laid out in our mind to say. Not really giving the chance for the Holy Spirit to work and help us to truly react and speak into what the person we are to be “seeing” is opening us up to (which by the way really needs to be perceived and accepted by us as a privilege to hear!!)
The second opportunity we need to then be focusing our listening on is what that person is not only saying, but also listening in a way that helps us hear the emotions behind the words (yes listening with that third ear!!). This will help us greatly in our response at the appropriate opening… to respond in a way that helps the other person to stay in on the conversation. As we keep it from just becoming about ourselves, instead stay in a conversation… that takes into account what we have been hearing. (and seeing!!)
We live in a culture that is fast moving away from having a working knowledge of all the stories of the Bible that we can too easily assume that everyone is in on. Even in this Christmas season it can be so easy for us to assume that the story and the characters in the story are well known by everyone.
I know many of us love to sing the old hymn “I Love to Tell the Story” , and I do as well. However, I heard recently that in the Christian church the passage that we seem to follow most closely in regards to evangelizing our world (telling that old old story!!) would be Jesus’ words to the healed leper in Mark 1:44 “see that you say nothing to anyone”
Maybe we need to really examine how much we really love to tell that old story, or rethink who we need to tell it to, and maybe how we tell it!!
This Christmas maybe help others understand how this holiday marks the beginning of an incredible and most important part of that old, old story. That God came down to be with us!! and see us through His son!! So that others will also then be able to join in singing….