Tuesday, April 10, 2012

58.11. In a Manner of Speaking...

Chances are that you will speak to at least one person this week that will do one or more of the following:
Copyright "There Will Be Bread"

1) Cut you off while you're speaking
2) Talk so much that you can't get a word in
3) Have a glazed look on their face while you speak
4) Turn and walk away while you're speaking
5) Be thinking of their next thing to say while you're speaking

I'm not going to lie and say I've not done the majority of these things. I'm not a "conversational wizard". We ALL have done these things at one point in our lives. The crime isn't the act of occasional conversational negligence. The real crime is the continual and unabashed killing of intelligent dialogue that has plagued our society.

There are many reasons why I feel this happens:

1) People think what they're saying is more important
2) People think that they're story is funnier
3) People think that if they don't say it quickly they'll forget
4) People like to hear themselves talk

These issues are always selfish ones. We're so wrapped up in our own world that we don't care about any one's problem but our own.

Why should I care about Susie's new job when I can't find one myself?
Why should Jimmy's brother being sick be of importance to me when I don't know him?
I've got my own problems that are bigger than yours.
I've got accomplishments that are greater than yours.

People who listen - truly listen - are gems. Miranda is a gem. She truly listens to me; even when I'm talking "just to hear myself talk". :)

If you find a person who listens to you don't abuse it. They listen because they care, but after awhile even caring people can grow tired of the sound of your voice (personal experience). If you find someone who listens to you try to imitate their conversational behavior. If we all listen a little bit more maybe there will be less noise, less hurting people, and much deeper conversations than we can even imagine.

Use Christ as an example. He always said just enough to make a point. He listened to people, He hurt with people, He helped people, and He healed people. Not just with His hands, but also with His words. Just think about this... if the woman at the well had talked His ears off maybe she would have missed His message. If Zacheus hadn't stopped talking from his tree house maybe he'd have never found salvation. If the woman who touched His garment had asked to be healed instead of simply touching the hem of His garment, would her faith still have been rewarded?

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