Today we are covering two days of the Christmas Peace for Busy Moms online Bible study. The study for Day 18, Peace in the Marketplace, is in video format. Visit the YouTube link below the quote card. Enjoy!
Day 19 is about promoting peace at parties. I recently picked up a book at a library sale titled The Lost Art of Listening. In our fast-paced culture, few take time to closely listen. I believe we can spread peace easily by serving as listeners, especially at parties. Here are 10 habits of a good listener, based on what I found in this book:
- A good listener exists for the other person for a few moments. They suspend their own memories, desires, and judgments for the sake of the other.
- A good listener is often silent, but never passive. The listener is processing information and thinking of ways to encourage or exhort.
- A good listener is willing to give up defensiveness, criticism, and impatience. To promote peace, good listeners lay down their weapons.
- A good listener acknowledges what another says, and thereby reduces friction. You can dispel misunderstanding by simply saying, “I heard you say this…did I hear you correctly?”
- A good listener is confident enough to relinquish control. Listening is hard because you may not like what you hear. But this is the only way relationship is fostered.
- A good listener gives up the need to get credit for listening. Give the gift of understanding, but realize not everyone will return it. Have a servant attitude.
- A good listener lets the speaker go first, then gently but firmly asks the speaker to listen to their side. Listening well requires a lack of selfishness.
- A good listener doesn’t automatically give advice or placate feelings. Sometimes people just want to be heard. Give them space to speak.
- A good listener is not isolated and unfeeling, but unreactive. Good listeners don’t let the speaker’s negativity or anger unsettle them. They think through their words carefully before speaking, as to not create more trouble.
- A good listener acknowledges when someone else has a good point, even if they don’t agree. Isn’t this timely advice for speaking about touchy subjects, like politics, with family members (if you dare)?
The bottom line is this: Listening well gives us an in-road to sharing faith with others.
When others feel valued, affirmed, and loved because we hear and appreciate their words, they will be more willing to listen to our side. I have found that even unchurched or unbelieving people have listened to me share stories of faith because I listened first. Try listening this Thanksgiving as practice for December parties and gatherings, and let me know how it goes!
Questions for you:
In what ways do you plan to promote peace in the marketplace?
Which of the ten habits of good listeners are you willing to try this week?
Our theme verse for this week:
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