Scripture Reference: (Proverbs 18:13, KJV)
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
Greetings to you Christlike Ministries NWA Family!
I know it’s been an extremely long time since our last series. A lot of that is because of my need to take the time to focus on being Elisabeth’s daddy, and some of the reason is because I allowed my daughter to become a little bit of an idol in my life…and even though I sensed the gentle nudge of the Holy Ghost to get back to writing…I put it off and put it off.
The other day, I resumed writing the From The Heart Devotional that I post on my personal Facebook, and sensed the nudge had become more of a shove.
A few days a go, a friend of mine from high school posted a picture, and as I read it…I heard the Lord say that it was time to get back to writing on my blog, and that the topic of the picture would be the topic to get us going again.
So, the series is titled “Ten Ways To Love”, and every message in this series will cover one of the ten ways. With that said, let’s get out of the Holy Ghost’s way, and see what He has to say to us today as we talk about the first of ten ways to love in our message titled “Listen Without Interrupting”.
Today’s Message: “Listen Without Interrupting”:
Who would think that one of the ways we can love people is by listening to them without interrupting them, but it’s the first thing on this list…and to make sure we understand there really is wisdom behind this…we find in our Scripture Reference (Proverbs 18:13, KJV) that the Bible really does say that if we answer without completely hearing what is being said we bring shame and folly.
I think about the popular game show Family Feud. The first question is asked between two participants, and the first one to answer with the most popular answer wins…and then gives their family the chance to get the rest of the answers to win the round. However, there are times when the announcer is reading the question that someone buzzes before he finishes reading the question. What usually happens then is either the person gives the wrong answer or an answer that’s not quite as popular had they just listened to the rest of the question…they may have given a better answer. This is a good illustration of what we’re talking about here because what happens is they lose out on a chance to win the round, and maybe even the game.
You see, the problem with interrupting people is that basically what your telling them is that what you have to say about what they are trying to tell you is more important than what they are saying. In other words, you are telling them you are more important than them…and I am sure I don’t have to tell you that’s prideful…do I? Love at it’s core is selfless, and when we interrupt people while they are talking not only do we miss what they are trying to tell us, but we come across as selfish and uncaring about what they are saying.
My pastor always says that people don’t care about what you have to say until they know how much you care. If you have a habit of interrupting people while they’re talking it won’t be long before people don’t talk to you because they’re going to get the sense that you don’t care about them or what they have to say. Even if that’s not your intent.
Look, I know that being Christian it’s easy to want to fix people, and give them ten scriptures about what they should do. However, there are times when people are talking to us that they don’t really even want us to say anything. Some times, people just need someone to lend an ear, and when you interrupt them by trying to fix them again it comes across as your selfish and what they have to say isn’t important to you.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m talking to someone about something that’s bothering me and they interrupt me it’s annoying…and usually when people do that I make a mental note that they’re not good listeners. Some times, I just someone to talk to or vent to…and I’m not looking for the quick fix or advice. I just want them to listen. In fact, I’m in the habit now of telling people at times I don’t want them to answer…I just want them to listen, and then after I’m done talking I may ask them advice or what they think.
In ministry it’s vital that we listen to everything that person we’re attempting to minister says to us. I know it’s tempting to interrupt them or give them a magic scripture…but again…the scripture will mean nothing if they don’t know that you care about them…and the best way that we can love people…especially in ministry is to listen.
Have you ever heard the phrase God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason? That reason is so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. The more we really listen to what the person we’re talking to is telling us…the more time God has the time to speak to us as to whether He has something for us to speak, a Bible verse for them, a prayer for them…or He might just tell us to listen while they speak out what they need to do as they’re talking. Lord knows I’ve heard myself answer something that I’ve needed to do as I was talking.
So, allow me to say this politely, but some times it’s really necessary to just shut up and listen. God will let us know if there’s something we need to say, but He’ll also make sure we wait until the person we’re listening to is done talking.
And, that’s what the Holy Ghost has to say to us about how we can love others by listening to them without interrupting them.
Lord God, we thank You for leading us to talk about these simple ways that we can love one another not only in word, but in action and deed. After all, the words of love mean nothing if they’re not accompanied by action. Help us, Father, to learn to listen intently to ever word that’s being spoken to us without interrupting the person that’s talking. Help us, Lord, to kill the pride within us that tells us we need to speak when Your Word reminds us we need to be swift to listen and slow to speak. Help us to understand how listening to people without interrupting them helps them to know that we love and value them as much as You do. Teach us, Lord God to be better listeners, and to allow the Holy Ghost to teach us how and when to respond…and of course give us the words when we do. Help us to love others in a way that shows not only our love for them…but Yours…for it’s Your love that they need…and that we ought to be displaying for the world and fellow believers. Let all of this be done in our hearts and lives so that we may become better ambassadors and examples for Christ…and so that we can bring YOU the glory and honor and praise that only YOU deserve. In Jesus’ name. Amen & Amen
It’s good to be back writing and working for the Lord. I’m thankful for all of you who have been patiently waiting. I’m thankful for those of you who have committed to praying for me, my family, and my ministry. I want you to know that I appreciate all of you, and don’t take your support lightly.
Have you been blessed by this ministry? Would you like to help me out? What I have listed here…I believe…are some really practical ways you can help me out.
First of all….Engage – I don’t always have time to reply to everyone but I read every single comment and post on here. I reply to every message and email and every one blesses me! Please do get involved and let me get to know you in the little ways we can online.
Secondly…Share – If you love the posts here, or maybe an article on the website… please share it on Facebook or Twitter… it really helps new people find this ministry and be blessed by the good news of the gospel…and tell people about us.
Thirdly (and maybe the most important)…Pray – We really value your prayers. Pray for this message to find good soil – that God would continue to bring new faces to this ministry that are ready to accept His embrace. Pray for my family, my ministry, and me that God will protect us, use us, and of course bless and prosper us…as we pray the same over you.
Finally…Give – I didn’t want to be that preacher, but I’ve come to find that not asking for help was prideful…and it is also denying you the opportunity to obey the Lord if He should lead you to tithe or give financially to this ministry. I’ve also found out that operating a ministry is just like operating a business. There’s always a cost for everything from office supplies to websites to other things, and so I have to ask you that if this ministry blesses you in any way…that you can now help by giving to it financially. I’ve set up a ministry card that is used specifically for ministry needs & expenses. If you’d like to give to this ministry contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support. All of you who follow me are of great encouragement to me…and I’m grateful for all of you.
God bless you and thank you for being a part of the Christlike Ministries NWA family. I truly love and am thankful for all of you.
Bryan J. Kizer
Pastor/Founder Christlike Ministries NWA