The Art of Listening

The other night I had a non Christian friend come over to my house. It was a really fun time. We threw the football around and watched game six of the NBA Finals. As the game made it to halftime, there was an opening to talk. I began to ask him about his year and other things. He had recently come to our college guys Bible study the past Sunday. It has been hard for him in the last years, with his Dad passing away. I just try to share love with him every time we get to hang out. Let him know that God loves him. 
We had a really good talk the other night. As our conversation continued, I did something I usually don’t do. I let him do most of the talking. I knew I couldn’t convince this guy to be a Christian. And from listening I came across some pretty profound things. First this guy saw that Christians had a lot of hate towards non-Christians. Even when he talked about others witnessing to him he described it as a “political debate.” 
It truly opened my eyes up. As Christians we need to listen first. I know I struggle with this, just shutting up sometimes and truly listening to people. What would we learn if we just were quiet sometimes, instead of trying to throw our relationship with Christ on others? What would change if we instead of judging and hating, loved those people? I believe that Christ would have great influence. People would see that we truly care enough about them to listen and not just talk. We need to remember that Christ came to “heal and save the lost.” He had dinner with tax collectors, thief’s. He didn’t condemn the woman at the well or the prostitute that was to be stoned. As Jesus said, “Whoever is sinless, throw the first stone.” 
Do we remember that we were that sinner, still are, that Jesus didn’t condemn but loved? How can we hate others? How can we judge others? 
My challenge to ya’ll and to myself today, listen to those that are broken and dying in this world. Listen to their stories, love them with the love of Christ.
Blessings,

Joseph. 

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