Garrett and I both serve as small group leaders to 8th graders at our church. It’s one experience that I can honestly say I’ve gotten more out of than I could have ever imagined. By no means am I perfect, and sometimes I wonder how I’m even qualified? But, It’s pushed me to hold myself to a higher standard and to continue to grow in my own faith.
All of the small group leaders are encouraged to not just do all of the “filling,” but also to be “filled – up” themselves. So, Garrett and I decided to start a new study for our own phase of life, and we invited a few friends to join us.
We’re reading Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages.” I’m barely half way through, and I HIGHLY recommend it! While it’s a great dating/marriage book, I also think it can revolutionize all of our relationships.
I could go on and on about the discoveries I’ve made through my reading, but there’s one I think we all should stop and think about.
The power of LISTENING.
In case you don’t already know, I talk A. LOT. Like, really … A. LOT. So, this concept is a pretty tough for me to grasp. I think for all of us, sharing our own thoughts comes more naturally than our willingness to listen to others.
I’ve noticed that while I sometimes allow others to finish their sentence, I’m already formulating my thoughts, response, opinions, rebuttal, etc. in my head before they’re even done. This habit is lethal to my relationships. I sometimes forget this because our culture is all about ME.
But the truth is, when we love someone or simply just value their relationship, we should also value their thoughts, feelings and opinions.
Once we actually stop talking and start listening our eyes can be opened to things that are happening in our relationships and in our world. Who would have thought someone else might see the world differently or know something we don’t?
I don’t think this is going to be easy for me. Actually, I know it’s not going to be easy for me. But, this life is all about striving to become better and I think grasping the power of listening will do wonders for my relationships and my life.
It will change the way I’m able to understand and love all of the people in my life. And, it will change the kind of friend, girlfriend, daughter, co-worker and small group leader that I am.
Here’s the bottom line – this life isn’t all about me, or you. When we stop talking and start HEARING what others have to say I believe we are all headed for a much better QUALITY of life.
So, have you HEARD lately?