When we talk about sharing our story you might assume that it’s always going to be about telling someone your own story. Take a second and consider what “sharing” actually means and realize that someone has something that you would benefit from if they shared with you. In my spiritual walk I have been impacted several times by letting someone tell me their story. Learning other people’s points of reference can not only help you understand how you can serve them but also has a night chance of teaching you and growing you in your walk with Christ.
Remember this is an empowering practice for your spirit and will involve a deeper dive than just talking to a friend. Somewhere.... someone has a story that you NEED to hear and it may not be for your benefit at all. Remember that the kingdom is something that connects us to one another and leads us in the ways the Lord needs us to go. Your interaction with someone may give you the tools you need to help the next person you talk with or maybe it’s just something that inspires you to go and help someone in the ways their story reflected. Either way remember that this act of listening is meant to lead you closer to the kingdom and not merely for the purpose of listening to someone talk. It is in understanding one another that we find the hear of our God.
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” - 1 Peter 3:8-12
here are some practical ways you can Listen to someone this week......
1) Lean In- Spend intentional time each day asking the Spirit to lead you into the story that you need to listen to this week. It may be that in reading this you may already know who it is the Lord needs you to talk with.
2) Open Door- every story starts with an open door, simply find a way to talk to that person without any time restraints and explain to them that you have never heard their whole story and that you would like to know them more by hearing it. They may have questions about what you mean and if that happens give them a short explanation of what you mean and then hand the conversation over to them again.
3) Listen- This may be the hardest part for some of you, I know it’s the hardest part for me. Just listen to them telling their story and don’t speak unless it adds to their story. What I mean by this is needing a point of clarification “how long did you do that?” “what does that mean?” Etc.
4) Give Thanks- explain to the person how thankful you are to have gotten to know them on a deeper lever and share with them the points of their story that stood out the most. This may open a door for them to want to talk about why you wanted to hear their story and if that is the case then you have the opportunity to share the gospel with that person and share the heart of Jesus leading your actions.
5) Reflect- take time to reflect on this time of listening. What did you learn? Why did the lord need you to learn that! What are meant to do with this new understanding?