Listen to People

People all have opinions, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and convictions. Find out what they are and why they are. Listen to people when they explain these things. You don’t have to agree with them, and they don’t have to agree with you, but many times it would do you both good if you listened.

Understanding people is part of what you need to work together with them. Part of understanding people is listening to them. Sometimes by the end of a conversation you may not understand any more than when you started. Sometimes by the end of it you may understand even less. But you might have at least learned a small thing.

Part of learning not to judge people wrongly and too soon involves listening. You don’t know them, they don’t know you. But what about when you both know each other? Listen still.

When you listen to someone, try very hard not to interrupt them, even if you don’t like what you hear. If you absolutely must interrupt, try not to be rude about it. For the most part, let them finish their thought. What you think they mean and what they actually mean may or may not be the same, so listening to the end of an explanation gives clarity.

Then ask questions. Make sure you both know what you’re talking about. It will take time and sometimes a few misunderstandings, but hear each other out. Listen to the whole answer. Again, don’t interrupt.

Most importantly, keep God in mind. Listen to God. Know what He says about something, and side with Him on it. Ask God for patience as you listen and for wisdom as you process what is being told. The discussion you are in may not end with finality; you may need to come back to it. This is okay. You can go study God’s Word and seek godly counsel for things. This also requires listening.

In short, listen to God and let Him help you listen to people. Then listen to God again as He tells you whether or not you need to explain something, and what you do or do not need to say.


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