Life isn’t about you but about God. If you haven’t found that out yet, you’re in for a sorry mess. If you have, you’re living the best life possible! Even so, we can still get disoriented and fall into the pit of selfishness. I do so all the time. I start to think about ME, ME, ME. He needs to care about my needs. She doesn’t understand my side. Why can’t they understand my pain and my heart? What about me.
You get the picture.
You’ve been there before.
So step 2 of our February challenge won’t be easy, but we must integrate it into our lives as we seek to truly love and show kindness to our friends.
Listen to others with 100% attention.
Demanding attention is easy, but giving it, not so much. How do I know?
Because I struggle with this too! I listen but only hear what I want to hear. I listen but only try to understand from my viewpoint. I listen because it’s entertaining. I listen because it benefits me.
But you know what I don’t do often enough?
I don’t listen for their sake.
This results in listening with 50% of my attention when my friends deserve 100% it!
The switch doesn’t magically happen. I have to renew my mind in Christ, and then change the motivation behind my questions. God commands us to love others as we love ourselves. Contrary to popular belief, we have no problem loving ourselves. We like to put our needs and desires first. We want people to listen to us, hear our perspective, and do what we want. We know how to love! It’s loving the right way that trips us up.
As we grow in love for our friends, we will learn to change the motivation behind our actions and inquiries. When I love my neighbor well, I no longer ask questions for my entertainment. I’m no longer only giving half of my attention. When I truly begin to love my friends, I give them the attention that I desire and take delight in caring for them!
Last week, I challenged you to leave people better than how you found them. This week, I add to that to examine your heart. Remember how much Christ loves you! Do you love others the way you so easily love yourself? Do you give your full attention when you spend time with friends? If not, work to change those habits.
Do a Bible word study on love and friendship. How does God view them? Next, check your motivations and make a list of the ways you can listen more fully and deeply. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Loving others shows your love for God.
Let’s listen to our friends this week!