Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
If you want to be a follower of Jesus, learn to practice, practice, practice! To advance the conversation of Jesus, you must first be able to initiate a conversation. First: Get the name and use it! This brings a personness to the relationship that is being Jesus.
Second: Listen to love! I’ve always felt loved best, when someone really understands me. Therefore, I’m realizing to love best is to seek to really understand another. To do that, requires that I truly listen.
I’ve caught myself listening just long enough to be polite, but thinking the entire time about my reply. In other words, I’m listening to my own brain chatter or listening to myself and not paying attention to listening to another.
Everyone has a story that’s going on in his or her life right now. Active listening is really seeking to hear and understand that personal story. I use the ABCD approach for active listening.
A-Ask questions. Be curious about the person. Don’t just act interested; be interested in them and their story.
B-Be broad-minded in your questions. Present a spirit of tolerance, openness, and acceptance. Ask what, why, and how questions. You are pulling out of them their story. Everyone wants and needs to tell his/her story, so you are inviting them to do so.
C-Compassion draws them in to talk. Show them that you truly care. This means, not looking around while talking or matching them story for story with your story, but looking them in the eyes with a compassionate focus on the person and what he/she is telling you. Caution: If you do or you don’t really care, the person is able to sense it. So be truly compassionate!
D-Dig deeper with more questions as appropriate. You never want to go beyond the comfort level, however if you are compassionately listening to their stories, they will have much more to share. By doing this, you are providing a safe place for them to share their stories.
You demonstrate that you really love them by listening to them. In my early years of operating a counseling center and counseling several thousands of people with a variety of problems, I’ve learned that a therapist can solve 75-90% of the problem by genuinely caring for the client. You stand out by listening, demonstrating that you truly care!
So, now we have two practices for the rest of the week. Advance the conversation by getting the name and using it and listening in order to love them! Practice, practice, practice….