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“It’s Fine. I’m Fine. Everything’s Fine!”

But what if it isn’t? What then?

I’m convinced that with most people not everything is fine. And if they just had somebody they could talk to, they just might share where life isn’t so fine.

Christian — are you willing to be that safe listener? The older I get the more I’ve convinced that we need to spend more time and energy listening rather than telling.

Please don’t misunderstand me. The gospel needs to be shared. And that usually involves words! But listening, really listening, opens the door to sharing the gospel.

I love the blind singer Ray Charles’ statement when he says, “Most people take their ears for granted,” says blind singer Ray Charles. “I can’t. My eyes are my handicap, but my ears are my opportunity. They show me what my eyes can’t. They tell me 99 percent of what I need to know about my world. Because of my ears, I can communicate naturally and freely with people everywhere. I don’t have to find an unnatural way of expressing one of the most basic human instincts God has given us.”

Are you and I using our ears as God intended? Would you try an experiment with me this week? Ask five questions (that are non-threatening) of one of your unsaved friends — and let them tell a bit of their story! Here are some questions that I’ve found helpful.

How long have you been retired (if they are)? What hobbies are you engaged in? Please tell me a bit about your family. I’m sorry to hear about the divorce you went through — that must have been painful. What’s the best part of your job (if they are employed)? The worst?

I asked an almost 80-year-old tennis player the other day the following questions: “Steve, how long have you lived in this area?” [“About 20 years.”] “Really. Have you been able to find a good church?” [“No. We’re not religious.”] A little while later I said to him, “You know, Steve, I’m not really into religion.” [“You’re not?!”] “No. You see, I think religion is spelled D-O. It’s all about what you DO. And the problem is you never know what the quota is.” [“Hmmm.”] “I’m into Christianity and Christianity is spelled D-O-N-E. It’s about what God has done for us.”

I wish I could tell you that the conversation ended positively, but Steve said, “Tell me why so many ‘Evangelical Christians voted for TRUMP!!??” I then just let him rant a bit. But I listened.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2020 in listening

 

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