AS LONG AS YOU HAVE ONE BEAT LEFT IN YOUR HEART
Five Practices to Follow When A Loved One Strays from Trust in God.
1—CONFESS any past wrongs and make them right. Keep your relationship very strong. Don’t turn away from them. Don’t react sinfully to their sinful actions. Don’t manifest any anger of any kind.
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1–2, ESV)
2–BE AN EXAMPLE of faithful Christian grace and living. Show them what it looks like.
“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.” (Philippians 3:17, ESV)
3–PRAY without ceasing for them to think about things the way God wants them to think about things. Pray that God will bring into their path someone they admire that will speak the truth to them.
““But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:17–20, ESV)
4–LOVE them the way the Spirit directs you to love them and never quit not matter how hurt you feel with them or even angry. Be very creative. Love in a variety of ways. Love by listening even when what you hear is hard to take, even when you disagree.
“And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Jude 22–23, ESV)
5—LISTEN. Speak or write words of counsel to them only when you are sure you are being led of the Spirit and they have shown a clear readiness, lest you further alienate them–Do not cast your pearls… you know…
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24–26, ESV)
DO THIS AS LONG AS YOU HAVE ONE BEAT LEFT IN YOUR HEART.
Eight Powerful Reasons to Improve Your Listening Skills
I recently read a biography of Eugene Peterson by Winn Collier. (A Burning In My Bones) Peterson was well-known for his words, especially his written words. He wrote books that will be in print for a long time. He wrote a very popular paraphrase of the Bible. You could say he was famous for his words, but those who knew him best would say that he was a very skilled listener. He was very slow to speak. He was very slow to give advice. He was a listener. He considered listening one of his most important pastoral skills.
Here are eight reasons listening is so powerful:
1—When you listen well you often diffuse anger. Prov. 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath…” Proverbs 29:11 — “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”
2—When you listen well you communicate love. Phil. 2:3-5 “…love is patient, kind…”
3—When you listen well you show honor. 1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
4—When you listen well you learn. (Prov. 19:27) “Cease to hear instruction my son and you will stray from the words of knowledge.” (Prov. 2:1-4) You can learn while you are talking but you can’t learn without listening and attending. You just cannot learn without paying careful attention. In conversation, when I really want to learn. I try to ask questions and summarize. I don’t want to interrupt.
5—When you listen well you are equipped to guide, teach, and protect others. (Prov. 18:2) “A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.” It can be useful to talk about yourself, but if you really want to teach or guide others, you have to listen to them and talk about them.
6—When you listen well you help and heal. Proverbs 20:5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, But a man of understanding will draw it out.
7—When you listen well you can help others reconcile and resolve conflict. Peacemakers are good listeners. (Matthew 18:15-17) “If he does not listen…” (Phil. 2:4) not just his own interests, but the interests of others.
8—When you listen well you are prepared to share the gospel effectively. Listening gives you insight into a persons soul so you can see the cracks where the gospel goes in.
I always want to learn and grow and progress in faith, character, and virtue. Since I was a child I have been known to be verbal, but I want to be a skilled and loving listener. God helping me.