“Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.” Philippians 4:5 New Living translation
Something that irks me on an ongoing basis is the shallow nature of our conversation here in this part of the world. I hope it’s better wherever you are?
Recently during a phone conversation with a close friend I noticed she apologized several times for beginning to interrupt me. We’ve been friends since childhood and had grown accustomed to chattering over top of each other in excitement while sharing our latest news. This was our mutual modus operandi.
But after her third apology I stopped the conversation and asked her “what’s the deal”? She explained that interrupting people is rude. A bad habit she wants to break. All of a sudden I became very aware of my own deficiency in this area. Not only with my friend but in other conversations and worst of all, with my husband who certainly did not appreciate my interruptions.
I decided my friend’s plan of action was one I should also adopt. How can I truly communicate if I’m not listening? It’s an ongoing intentional effort for me but I am determined to improve.
Old habits are difficult to break. Having an accountability partner can help. Which reminds me of another friend who shared a bad habit with me. One that offended the ears of others and did not take anyone else into consideration.
It was summer in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. My friend and I were 11 years old. It was our first time at church camp following the end of fifth grade. That school year we had both picked up the bad practice of using the word “damn” freely. We decided we needed to break this habit as soon as possible. We agreed to slap the face of the other whenever they used the word. Needless to say it didn’t take long for both of us to clean up our language. Red-faced by the end of the week we came home from camp with cleaner mouths. Forty-three years later we remain good friends.:)
Then there’s the superficial greeting “Hi, how are you?” If you begin answering MOST people will tune out or not even stick around for your answer. Ever experience that? We give so little thought to the words we say. I prefer to stick with “Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening” as greetings unless I truly do care how a person is doing and have time to listen to their response.
But the absolute WORST IRK is when a friend or relative asks you a question. You begin answering, but they cut in and start talking about something completely different. One recently even walked away just as I began answering! Okay so maybe I’m boring but c’mon. It’s as if what you have to say has no value whatsoever, and this from someone who’s supposed to be close to you? How hurtful is that? Why did they bother asking? This is not what Jesus would do.
Have you felt that type of pain? Are you aware that these things hurt people? I don’t know about you but I do not want to be responsible for hurting people because of my lack of consideration. My prayer is to grow more caring, more considerate in my listening skills. I never want to hurt anyone because of my own self absorption. So by His grace may I be more intentional in my conversations helping others to FLURISH.
How about you? GIVE IT SOME CONSIDERATION.
“Don’t be concerned for your own good but the good of others.” I Corinthians 10:24 New Living translation
Shine on. . .