When my sons were younger, they would talk about making friends. What was the true key to making friends? I would tell them to listen! People LOVE to talk about themselves. If you walk up to someone and ask them a question about themselves, they could go on and on. If a person has a complaint about their life, they could go on all day! If you ever talk to a child, the conversation is usually all about them. One thing that I've found is that as we grow up, that rarely changes. I recently told someone a problem I had and they completely ignored that statement and went on to tell me everything they had going on. I sat there reminding myself that even though this person, who is suppose to be my friend, didn't really care about me at that moment, we as people are completely selfish in nature. I met a couple of friends one time and I remember sitting there as they looked at me and said, "And how are you doing?" It completely stumped me! No one asks ME that! I have a husband and two children who need me to do, what seems to be everything for them! I cook, clean, teach school, and have to be there for constant support. Once my friends asked me that question, I sat there speechless. I literally had no idea what to say. I am usually the one asking how everyone else is doing. As a mom, you usually don't have time to think about yourself.
Now, let's turn our attention onto God. He created us and likes to spend time with us. When we pray, we say that we are talking to God. My question is, how are you talking to God? When you pray, do you sit down quick and make your list of needs? Do you thank Him for what He's given you? Do you take time to develop a relationship with Him and get to know Him? There are days when I find myself complaining to God, or giving Him my lists of "wants and needs". I then stop myself and think, is this a real relationship? This is exactly how people treat each other! We don't care about the person next to us in our attempt to reach the top of the ladder at work, or the person we swerved in front of to get just a little ahead in traffic. We don't give a second thought to the person who has to use up all their vacation time to take care of their sick children, because, "well, they made a choice to have kids." We don't listen to others problems anymore because we have our own and in our mind there are therapists for that.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can reflect on our time with our family and friends. As you sat around the table giving your list of thanks, or talking to that relative that you see only at holidays, did you talk only about your needs, how things are going for you? Or, did you listen to what everyone else was saying, and find out how they are truly doing?
And with God, are you developing a true relationship with Him? Are you reading His word and listening to what He wants to say to you? Or, are you just spouting off your lists of needs and wants. Have you ever taken the time to pray and ask God how He is doing? Do you care that He holds the whole world in His hands, including your life? Do you care that Jesus gave up His life for you? Let's take time to listen to others for a change. Take the listening challenge and decide that when you talk to a person, you will consume yourself with their needs and not your own. When they ask about you, quickly change it back to them and truly get to know them. Why not try the same thing with God? When you are praying and you find yourself beginning to think only of yourself, direct the prayers back to knowing Him more. And...don't forget to be thankful to God and for your family and friends who have to "listen" to you all day!
Galatians 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ."
Ephesians 4:29 "29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to THEIR needs, that it may benefit those who listen."