Inside Out- Listening as an Act of Love

03.25.15 | Martha Manikas-Foster

What if the best way to live like Jesus is to open our ears more and our mouths less?

“In today’s culture, which, as you know, is super-polarized, we can tend to see conversations more as debates to be won rather than opportunities to get to know and to love each other,” says today’s Inside Out guest Dorothy Greco. “And the reality is that God made us to connect and to bond with other people.”

We want connection. Others do too. But we can sabotage our chances of bonding with others if we limit the potential of conversation in our lives.
 
“If we approach conversations more like two lawyers in a courtroom than two human beings made in God’s image, we’re going to miss the deeper purpose, right?”

We get closer to that deeper purpose when we think less about our needs and more about the needs of the other person. A way to do this is by listening well, says Greco, who is a photographer, journalist, and pastor, and the author of the Gifted for Leadership article “The Sacred Gift of Listening.”

“For us to really show other people the love of Christ, I think one of the easiest ways we can do that is to put aside our agendas and just choose to bless and to love somebody by being present to them and by listening to what they have to say.”

Are you afraid that if you keep listening there won’t be a time when someone will listen to you?  That maybe you’ll never have a chance to reveal what you value and Who it is that gives you hope?  
“We have to have that long-term goal of being able to trust that, at some point, we may be able to really bring in our faith,” Greco says. “But at this point, early on, it really is about showing them we’re trustworthy people and that we know how to care for them.”

Click on the LISTEN or DOWNLOAD icon above to hear Greco’s insights on why we have such a difficult time listening well, how intentional we will need to be with the people closest to us, and how we might face the challenges of a culture that has strong opinions about Christianity.

You can also connect with Dorothy Greco’s blog.

 

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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.

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