Listening to Understand

I’m taking a class on Listening Intelligence this month and before the first session the below video came up on my YouTube feed. Take 5 minutes and watch below.

I regularly follow Rachel Hollis’ feed for personal development help and this video really struck me. One of our greatest needs is to be understood. The way we help others realize this need is by listening to someone. Really Listen, not ask them a lot of questions and get the answers you want. We rarely really get to the heart of the matter that the other person is bringing up. Earlier this week I shared a story about a Street Evangelization project in Stamford and the most striking thing was their listening.

We all know we should listen more. We’ve heard the phrase, “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason … you should be listening twice as much as you’re talking.” But the truth is that we don’t listen. We get caught up in our own self and what we want and how we want to receive information.

When people are sharing on a hard subject, such as why they left the Church or the thing they’re struggling with in their faith, they rarely spit out the real root of the problem in the first sentence. Most people (there might be one who will) aren’t going to begin a conversation with a stranger or acquaintance about their prayer life with: “I don’t really trust that the Lord is good because even my earthly father wasn’t interested in hanging around. If a man who also has flaws never loved me, how can the perfect God of the universe love me?”

So the goal is to listen with an open heart. There are people in your pews coming for Mass, Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals, Christmas, and Easter who aren’t “all in” and “sold out” for the Lord and His undying love for them. They’ve been told the message a hundred times, but they haven’t really heard it. They don’t really know where they fit in the middle of it. They need someone to really listen to them and what’s going on in their individual lives. Will you be that person for them? Will you be that person for your spouse, your children, your siblings, your friends, and your neighbors? Will you retrain your listening brain to get to the heart of what people are really saying so you can share about the undying love of the Lord with them?

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