How many times do we find ourselves looking at what God is doing for someone else and we miss what He is doing special in our own lives? I believe our hearts deceive us when we don’t examine our own lives according to what God has already done for us. I’m the first to admit that’s a hard task to accomplish. But, I’m willing to do for others as I want them to do for me.
As I was walking in church late, I heard the pastor said, “The title of my message this morning is “Do Your Part.” Oh, rats! Of course, I am thinking; he can’t be talking to me because I’m always in church. In fact, I spend a lot of time at church taking care of daily business. [My thoughts?] What do you mean “Do Your Part?” I’m already an active participant? I’m doing my part and somebody else’s too.
Attitude by now.
Then, he said, “This message is for you…if you’re thinking you’re already doing your part, and there’s is nothing else to do. It’s for you!” I thought to myself, as I was taking my seat; why did you come in late today or better yet. Come to church?
Oops! I was totally wrong. It was for me. “And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrew 10:24-25) There is so much more to do, especially, when lives are at stake. People need help on so many lives and I believe the Church is where the help should come from. We should be prepared to serve the Spirit, Soul, and Body.
And, the pastor said, “Remember. (Ephesians 4:15-16) The church builds itself up in love as each part does its work. And part of that includes the ministry of words.” A few verses later, Paul says, “Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another” (v. 25). Speak truth to them, and help them to grow. Our words should be “good for building up someone in need so that it gives grace to those who hear”. (Ephesians 4:29) Make yourself available to be spoken to. Are you willing to listen?
Yup! Again, that’s where I’m going wrong. I don’t listen well and sometimes, I don’t want to listen. I don’t think “do your part” is applicable to me only, but to you as well. We don’t do our part when it comes to other individuals, that need us. We don’t find the time to build healthy strong lasting relationships with mutual respect.
Being a good listener requires a little more effort than nodding our head, while someone rants. We need to make the person feel comfortable, understood, and validated. Letting someone vent their frustrations makes us a comforting significant other during their time of need.
Think about yourself as you’re engaging with another person. You want to know that you are being heard.
Slow-down, and really let the other person get their full thoughts out before responding. Many times when we think we’re listening. We’re actually planning our next responses. We can’t do both of those things at the same time. That means, we may think we’re listening with good intentions, but we’re trying to fulfill our agenda and not the other person’s.
Our goal is to show that other person what they are saying is important. The next time someone comes to you. “Do Your Part.”
Listen openly to get an understanding of what they need from you. You may not be able to help them, but you have served your purpose. You listened. Don’t get so desperate to share your advice or to make the connection that you end up cutting the other person off prematurely. They deserve to be heard. I’m terrible at jumping to conclusions, trying to finish the person’s sentence as they’re halfway through it.
Don’t judge me…You’re like that too. We’re just trying to resolve the problem because we really do know where that other person is going. And even if we did, the jumping is seen as an interruption, rather than a genuine moment, in which you and the speaker truly connect with each other. It’s rude!
In conclusion, there’s one more benefit to listening well. If you learn to listen to another person quite well, you’ll get that same treatment, when it’s your turn to speak. It’s going to take practice, but you can do it.
I guess the pastor was talking to me and I’m passing along his wisdom for you. Do Your Part, the next time someone needs to talk to you. Listen! It’s a win-win for the both of you.