Thursday, February 23, 2017

honoring others by listening


1 Peter 5:6  NASB
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

Have you ever had a problem hearing?  There are many reasons why a person cannot hear, but today we focus on only one of those.  It could be called pride or even hypocrisy.  A good description would be the inability to hear because your chosen attitude doesn’t allow you to hear what is being shared.

Does that make sense to you?  It does to me.  I have found this in my own life when I am talking to a person that I have little or no respect for.  This could be because I believe the person speaking is inferior to me.  This really is a big deal.

In last Sunday’s message in our series Love Your Neighbor we talked about the need to see others as greater than ourselves.  Pride doesn’t allow this.  Prejudice doesn’t allow this.  In fact most of human thinking says we should do all we can to get ahead and to build our own kingdom as any cost even hurting others along the way.

That is not the way God called us to deal with the people around us.  The Bible is clear on this over and over again:

Love one another.

Consider others as more important than yourself.

In love serve one another.

Pray for one another.

Give honor to those who are weak.

And on these references will go.  When we choose humility, we choose to be like Jesus.  And one of the ways we are like Jesus is in listening to the people around us no matter their social standing.  Listen to people.

I love that we get to work with and interact with many Hispanic friends, but I will tell you that often my mind gets tired trying to overcome language barriers.  I recently sat across the table from one of my friends, and our conversation went well over an honor.  What I learned is substantial.

Last week I spent some time with a homeless friend that was choosing to go to a shelter in a city about an hour from our area.  One of the big reasons is because of health care and some struggles he was going through.  This man had irritated me a great deal in the last few months, but for just a few minutes before he left town we had a deep conversation.  I was touched by his kindness and learned much from this man.

May we be known for extending grace to others.  Let’s listen even when it seems not important.  Choose humility and let your guard down so that it because second nature to honor others no matter who they are.

Romans 12:10  NIV
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

As I look back on recent conversations I am grateful for how God has used each of them.  I have talked with people from almost every walk of life and learned much.  We learn more when we listen.  Listening gives honor to those we are listening to plus it opens us to learning and loving more.

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