Love you all, praying for you.
Have you ever noticed what one of the hardest things to do in life is?
Listen. To truly listen to another person, to truly understand them, their heart, their hurt, where they’re coming from, not just the words they say, but how they feel, and understand what made them feel that way with the compassion and empathy that they need. Why is it so hard to listen and understand? First, as humans by nature we are selfish, not self-less. Its not just that... we want to talk more than we want to listen, it’s not just that... we're already thinking of our response… before fully listening and hearing so we can truly understand what they are saying... It’s not just that... we were not really paying attention to how they feel, because their word choice, is now making us feel a certain way… It may also include the most difficult thing to let stand: someone’s negative impression about us, or our words or our actions, or our character. Especially if we feel it is mis-interpreted or undeserved. In our desire to be thought-well-of, based on our intentions, not our words, based on our intentions, not our actual actions, we cannot help defending ourselves. In fact I wonder if defensiveness may be the biggest roadblock to communication - to true listening and understanding. Why is that so hard? I don’t really know the answer… I'm so much still a work in progress in this area. But it might come down to humility and trust. God says an undeserved curse doesn’t come to rest, do you believe Him? Does that also include an undeserved negative impression? What if it is partly deserved, then what? Romans 12:3 – For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. God just said that one of the fruits of faith is a proper perspective of others versus you. Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, ESV says in humility count others more significant than yourselves – that means what they feel and they say – consider it more important than what you feel or what you say. Verse 4 - Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. In your relationships with one another have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross. Jesus was the perfect example of humility – not only in exclusively obeying what His Father in Heaven told Him to do, but also by how He considered himself – in relation to others. He served others, he laid down his life for them, not defending himself, or His rightful position. When He stood before Pilate, all the false accusations hurled against him, complete lies from evil-hearted people driven by jealousy and hatred. Jesus didn’t defend himself, the Bible said, He opened not his mouth, and Pilate couldn’t believe it! Aren't you going to defend yourself? Jesus not only knew his purpose, He trusted His Heavenly Father completely. One of the hardest things in life, becomes a little easier only with perspective. Sometimes you can win the battle only to lose the war. Praying you’ll review the Relationship Topic – How To Treat People. God’s Word is so powerful as an instructor and a reminder. It reveals God’s ways versus ours, and what humility really looks like. Praying that the next time you enter a discussion where different perspectives could lead to misunderstanding or conflict, that you will be humble enough and trust God enough to let some things stand, for the sake of understanding. They won’t stand permanently, if they aren’t really true – but if you trust God to defend you, you won’t have to, you are free to really understand what and how and why a person feels that way. Sometimes, just the listening and understanding is the only way for new light to come to their understanding. Yes, speak the truth in love, but only at the right timing... only after first fully listening, fully understanding, and fully trusting God to make things right. Humility is the key that unlocks and disarms potential conflict. The war is worth more than this battle. Praying that God will give you great grace to listen and understand, to trust Him to bring truth in the right time. That you would speak only what He says to speak, and that you will wait until the timing He reveals. To walk in the good God has for your life – it includes others too. Praying that you will see the joy and the beauty in humility, so others feel understood and loved, and as you choose the low place, God can raise you up.
Love you all,
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Daily Huddle -