February 9, 2018

Deep Connections: Part 3

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  James 1:19 (NIV) 

My father used to tell me that the reason God gave us two ears and one mouth was so that we would listen twice as much as we speak.  One of my challenges in life is to listen more and talk less.  That’s hard for a preacher.  But it’s one of the most effective ways to take your relationship to a deeper level.  When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really listen?  People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.  If we pause to ask the question, “How are you really doing?”, we need to listen.  As we listen, really listen to their heart, they recognize how much we truly care.  This is the final letter in our acrostic to a deep relationship:

P-ursue Deeper Communication

How would you describe your typical communication?  Psychologist call most of it “cocktail talk.”  It’s all surface level.  No wonder we don’t experience deep relationships.  We have no understanding of the other person!  We all wear masks to hide our true feelings.  Our launching verse for this study challenges us to pursue deeper communication to understand one another.

“A person’s thoughts are like water in a deep well, but someone with understanding can draw them out.”  Proverbs 20:5 (MSG/NLT)

Without understanding, you can’t have a deep relationship.  The only way to experience that kind of depth is to listen.  I call it active listening. Listen to what their heart is communicating.  Affirm your love and acceptance as you do.  They don’t really need a solution so much as knowing you care enough to listen. It will take intentionality.  You may have to push the pause button on your schedule or let them know you would like to schedule a time to really hear them rather than rushing the conversation.

The Bible offers us these four steps that take us to a deep and understanding relationship from 2 Corinthians 3:12-18.

D-ecide Not to Hide

E-xperience Acceptance 

E-xtend Acceptance 

P-ursue Deeper Communication

We can release the fear of what others are thinking of us when we understand what God is thinking.  He reveals what He thinks in Psalm 139:17-18 (NLT)

“How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!  I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!  And when I wake up, you are still with me!” 

When we know that God’s thoughts are that numerous and that precious, we find security and acceptance that enables us to be authentic and real!  We don’t have to be worried about what others are thinking.  Instead, we’re motivated to share that love with others and experience a deep and fulfilling relationship.

Are you ready to take your most important relationships to the next level?  Review the passage in 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 and practice these four steps.