BLESS part 2: Listen

This is the second in a 5-part series which takes on the very serious question: how do we Bless people practically?  If we are supposed to be carrying out the vision of Grafted, “Honor God by helping as many people as possible become fully committed members in Christ’s Forever Family,” by using our mission, “Bless, Belong, Believe, and Bloom,” how are we supposed to do that first step, Bless?  Dave Ferguson at the Verge Network asked that same question for his church’s missional communities (their version of small groups) and came up with a 5-point answer which changes “Bless” into an acronym:

  1. Begin with prayer,
  2. Listen,
  3. Eat,
  4. Service, and
  5. Story.

Each of these 5 posts is going to take one of these ideas and give a bit of a biblical background to the idea and practical ideas for how to do it in real life.  On to week 2: Listen.

How is it that listening can be so incredibly hard?

I have been spending my time in God’s word looking at the Proverbs and James recently and these verses sound like they matter here:

13 To answer before listening—
    that is folly and shame. Proverbs 18:13

How often do we rush in to a situation, assuming we know what is best for everyone involved, without actually checking to make sure that we understand what is happening and what people’s needs truly are? …maybe that’s just me.  If it is you, too, then welcome to the club of folks who prefer to ask forgiveness than permission… to our own detriment.  If we truly want to Bless others, we must be patient enough to Listen to them to learn how we can best bless them.

Sometimes it is a good thing that I have been reminded that not listening looks like folly and shame; it goes a long way to changing my motivations… and other times I just need to be put under divine commandment to just do it.

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Jame 1:19-20

While it may certainly be easier to do something when it aligns with my motivations, sometimes we need to act in accordance with God’s plan so that our actions encourage our motivations to follow along for the ride!

When you hear that in order to Bless others that you need to listen do you feel like hearing why to listen is more impact-full for you or do you just need the divine command of God to Listen?


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